Putin Orders Clarification On Dividend Payments To “Unfriendly” Investors In Russia

MOSCOW, May 2 - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday ordered his government to "clarify" the procedure for how Russian companies can make dividend payments to shareholders from so-called "unfriendly countries".

Russia considers all countries that have hit it with sanctions over its military campaign in Ukraine to be "unfriendly". It has hit back with its own package of counter-sanctions and capital controls which restrict the ability of companies and investors from these countries to transfer profits or dividends back home.

The Kremlin said proposals on dividend payments should "include conditions that residents expand their production in Russia, develop businesses based on new technologies and invest in the Russian economy."

Putin asked the government to come up with proposals by May 20, a document published by the Kremlin said.

Scores of foreign companies have exited the Russian market since Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine last February, while many others are still trying to wind down their businesses or waiting for approval from a government commission to sell their assets.

The Kremlin triggered fresh fears it could be prepared to nationalise foreign businesses last week with a decree to take "temporary control" of the Russian assets of Finnish energy group Fortum and Germany's Uniper in a move it said was retaliatory and could be repeated.