(Reuters) – Russian lawmakers proposed to transfer businesses of foreign companies that are leaving Russia to the state development bank VEB, giving the owners of such firms the option to resume their operations in Russia or sell businesses within three months.
Scores of foreign companies have announced temporary shutdowns of stores and factories in Russia or said they were leaving for good since Russia began what it calls “a special military operation” in Ukraine on Feb. 24.
A bill submitted to the lower house of parliament on Tuesday showed that Russian lawmakers proposed appointing VEB or other entities, as per authorities’ and courts’ decisions, as external administration at companies where foreign ownership exceeds 25%.
The external administration could be set at companies playing a critical role in infrastructure or monopoly supplies of certain goods if their decision to leave Russia poses a threat to supply chains or could result in job cuts.
Earlier on Tuesday, telecoms equipment maker Nokia said it was pulling out of the Russian market, going a step further than rival Ericsson, which said on Monday it was indefinitely suspending its business in Russia.
Russian authorities have previously suggested that Russia may nationalise assets held by Western investors who decide to depart.
Last week, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin asked foreign companies to keep their production operating in Russia to save jobs, even if companies decide to leave.
(The story is refiled to fix typo in the last paragraph)
(Reporting by Reuters, Editing by William Maclean)