NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s invisible, ubiquitous lobbyists; How armies of fixers and specialists negotiate the nation’s dicey relationship between businesses and the state” – Meduza

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“Technically speaking, lobbying doesn’t exist in Russia. The concept, at least, isn’t established anywhere in the country’s laws, and the activity itself isn’t formally regulated in any way. On December 18, just the latest business association encouraged the parliament to rectify this situation, though previous efforts like this one have always come to nothing. There are, nevertheless, many people in Russia who earn a living by mediating between the country’s state and businesses, defending the interests of entrepreneurs and campaigning for the legislation they consider necessary. Some of these people use legal methods, while others – the so-called ‘fixers’ – resort to money, connections, and even threats. Meduza special correspondent Taisiya Bekbulatova learned more about these individuals to understand how Russian lobbying really works. …”

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