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Russia to limit foreign owners?

March 7, 2008

Russia may limit foreign ownership of ISPs, broadcasters and publishing houses, extending a list of industries deemed strategic, a senior lawmaker told Reuters. Russia’s parliament is set to debate the controversial law this month amid a row between government officials and the security services over what industries should be deemed sensitive and how much to limit foreign investment in them.

“We need to defend our public space from foreign firms, which may seize dominant positions,” said Martin Shakkum, head of the parliament’s land and construction committee, which is responsible for preparing the new law. According to the draft law, a foreign company seeking a controlling stake in a Russian firm working in a sector deemed strategic will need to seek permission from a special government committee.

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