Russian minister and U.S. ambassador discuss privatization, sanctions

John Tefft file photo

(Interfax – March 28, 2016)

The Russian privatization and sanctions against Russia were discussed during the meeting between Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev and UEc.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft in Moscow on March 28, along with other aspects of the Russia-U.S. trade and economic cooperation.

Alexei Ulyukayev file photo

“We have discussed a broad spectrum of the Russian-American economic ties, including both commercial and financial relations. The meeting was largely for information purposes. I have given my explanations on a large number of the issues sparking interest of our American counterparts, starting from the prospects of Russia’s economic development, the opportunities for U.S. firms with regard to participating in the privatization, and basic parameters of the latter. I think we had a businesslike, constructive talk and made a reasonable contribution to the shooting of those problems that are probably obstructing our relations from being developed in an optimal, energetic way,” Ulyukayev told reporters following the meeting.

The parties did not discuss any specific projects at the meeting, Ulyukayev said.

“The conversation was rather of a fundamental, informational nature. Perhaps, some practical steps will follow, in elaboration of it, but we didn’t discuss any specific projects or particular measures,” he said.

“The issue of sanctions was raised. Our common perception, and understanding, is that this story is certainly not a never-ending one. We would like it to end as soon as possible. American colleagues are linking it with implementation of the Minsk agreements, and we are absolutely supportive of this approach. But, we say that there is no unilateral solution to this problem that can only be solved multilaterally, and we invite all to participate, along with us, in the solving of this problem,” Ulyukayev said, when asked whether the issue of sanctions had been raised during the meeting.

Also, Ulyukayev answered affirmatively when asked whether the topic of possible U.S. banks participating in the organization of the Russian privatization and Russia’s possible Eurobonds issuance was discussed.

“This topic was raised. I believe it is principally correct that the privatization procedure should be the utmost transparent, the utmost understandable, for any kind of investor. And therefore, the participation of high-expertise international consultants is very important. This was the idea that I tried to bring to the information of my American counterpart. I think he understood me correctly,” Ulyukayev said.

However, Ulyukayev added that “a number of global banks expressed their readiness to promote the privatization projects”.

[featured images are file photos]