Friday, August 5, 2022

Russian Businesses Likely to Commit More Violations This Year but Not be Held Accountable, Nikolayev Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 13 – The number of administrative law violations in the Russian economy by individuals rose from 1.2 million in 2020 to 3.9 million in 2021 and the amount of fines assessed against them rose from 13.3 billion rubles (2.1 billion US dollars) to 18.7 billion rubles (3 billion US dollars), Igor Nikolayev of the Moscow Institute of Economics says.

            These increases, not reported in a timely fashion, do not reflect the imposition of new rules but rather the loosening of enforcement during the pandemic year of 2020 and the reimposition of more normal enforcement in 2021 (

            This year, 2022, is likely to see both numbers fall back because the government made a decision to introduce a moratorium on monitoring of businesses and entrepreneurs until the end of the year, Nikolayev says. That lack of checking will mean that businesses are likely to commit more violations but not be held accountable.

            More freedom for entrepreneurial activities is “very good.” Indeed, it is “simply remarkable.” But there is the impression, the economist says, that “the border between freedom and everything is permitted is being wiped out.” And regardless of what the powers may think, that will not help overcome all the economic problems the country now has.

            Given how many additional crimes there were in 2021 when government monitoring was cut back, it is entirely likely that the number of such actions will only go up, even if the regime chooses not to call them crimes. That will only exacerbate relations between business and the population and ultimately between the government and the population as well.

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