Whatever expectations one has of the Russian government and civil institutions, they always disappoint. The abuse of tax and visa laws to eliminate BP’s hold on its Russian oil joint venture TNK-BP is the latest in a long line of doleful examples.
It has been obvious for some time that the rule of law does not apply in Russia to the international investors and companies which venture into the market in the hope of profiting from its natural resources.
Now comes news that the Moscow authorities, petitioned by BP’s Russian partners, with whom it has fallen out, are squeezing out BP executives by refusing them visas. It calls to mind the way in which Hermitage Capital Management and its founder William Browder have been harassed using visa and tax laws.