Welcome to Control Risks' new Russia newsletter

I am very pleased to welcome you to the first edition of Control Risks’ Russia/CIS RiskWatch newsletter. This quarterly newsletter has been inspired by a desire to provide companies operating in Russia and across the CIS region with up-to-date insight and analysis. While regularly featuring in news reports and headlines, the region remains shrouded in misunderstandings that prevent investors from gaining a proper perspective on relevant issues. Those of us living and working here are often perplexed by the negative image with which the region is generally associated. Rarely do we read anything about the new roads, metro stations, bridges and airport terminals opening regularly; nanotechnology and the high-tech sector, which remains world class; regional development in places like Kazan, Yekaterinburg or Novosibirsk; liberalising visa regimes with the US and soon hopefully the Schengen Area (though not yet, alas, the UK).

Political, economic and social risks remain, of course, but the risks investors focus on are not always the risks that they are best placed to manage. This new Control Risks publication will provide insight and commentary on some of the political and operational challenges investors continue to face and how to best take advantage of existing opportunities. In the next edition, for example, we will look at some of the major events that the region will host over the next decade: from this summer’s Student Games in Kazan and Rugby Sevens World Cup in Moscow, to the Sochi Winter Olympics and Formula 1 in 2014, the inaugural European Olympics in Baku (Azerbaijan) in 2015, World Expos in Astana (Kazakhstan) and Yekaterinburg, the FIFA World Cup in 11 host cities across Russia in 2018, and beyond.
The theme of this first edition is one that remains the bane of anyone active in the region: corruption.
Steven Eke, Control Risks’ Senior Political and Security Risk Analyst for Russia, takes a look at the effectiveness of the highly publicised anti-corruption campaign aimed at senior government officials and civil servants, asking whether this is any more than simply an exercise in ‘gesture politics’. Read more
In the second article, Hannah Lilley and Rosie Hawes, Associate Directors in the Russia team’s corporate investigations practice, then examine what impact this campaign is having on investors and sectors at the operational level and what areas remain particularly vulnerable.  Read more
Both Steven and Hannah will be presenting in May at a seminar co-hosted by Control Risks and the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce, entitled “Russia’s Anti-Corruption Drive”. We would be happy to welcome you there.
Finally, we are keen to hear your thoughts on this newsletter and what is of particular interest to you and your colleagues, so do please let us know if there are any issues that you would like to learn more about or that you feel should be covered in coming editions.
Best regards,

Tim Stanley

Tim Stanley
Market Director, Russia/CIS