Business Ombudsman wants Russian business to be heard

Boris Titov, Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights, had a meeting on Monday with some members of Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Russia. Mr Titov described the activities of his office and shared his insights on relationships between business and authorities in the country, noting the growing administrative pressure on entrepreneurs, who have to be proactive to secure their lawful rights.

The Commissioners pointed out that his office provides legal advice and assistance to businesses through some 60 outsourced law firms and has succeeded in criminal charges being completely dropped in 134 economy related investigations recently, and some RUR 130 bln ($2 bln) of stalled payments from various agencies being ultimately obtained by goods/services suppliers. Yet he noted that some 80% of assistance requests from Russian entities are declined by his office due to lack of grounds for intervention.

On the other hand, he stressed, initiation of some 1,000 new criminal investigations into business activities signals of a systemic problem in the authorities/business relationship. Business Ombudsman’s task therefore is employing all possible means, including political ones, to assist businesses in Russia and to make all minorities heard.

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