Putin seeks to increase political control of Russia’s oligarchs

Could Roman Abramovich, owner of British Premier League football champions Chelsea FC, be asked to repatriate all his capital to Russia? (photo: dpa)
Could Roman Abramovich, owner of British Premier League football champions Chelsea FC, be asked to repatriate all his capital to Russia? (photo: dpa)

Western sanctions and falling oil prices have hurt Russia’s economy. But measures taken against Russian oligarchs and their foreign interests by President Vladimir Putin are more for political than economic reasons. Mr Putin is seeking to increase his control over the elite by demanding they repatriate their money or risk being branded unpatriotic and face legal action.

PRESSURE is increasing on Russia’s economic performance from the combined impact of economic sanctions and a sharp fall in the price of oil.

Western governments like to believe this is causing the Russian government substantial pain. Some Western pundits believe Russia’s economy may ...

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