Benefitting from the absence of rule-of-law in Russia and from the presence of rule-of-law in London.
An argument that Russia’s economic elites’ use of the relative safety of western countries’ financial and legal systems should depend on whether in Russia those people have participated in what would be considered lawbreaking in the western systems.
An interesting pundit said on Australian radio, for example, that money from selling exported Russian oil and gas is often moved through western financial leveraging instruments before being imported into Russia, to make it harder for that cash to be arbitrarily seized there. Even well-connected Russians are just as hostage to Vladimir Putin as the Crimean Tatars.
He said a counterargument holds that oligarchs will learn from living and working in rule-of-law countries and import some of that back to their homeland. Yet with the west’s inadequate oversight members of these groups might likewise grow corruption in their partner countries and firms. It does look as if German power utility companies who worked with post-Soviet Russian partners who demanded bribes in Russia might have started using extralegal shortcuts to achieve their goals at home; at the very least, their German competitor utilities would have had to compete with them while they were using such methods. Corruption really does seem to breed more corruption: apparently after the multinational Siemens developed streamlined procedures for paying bribes in corrupt countries it began offering them in relatively clean countries.
In a worst-case outcome, it would be interesting to see how western jurists would determine culpability in a country without an independent judiciary.
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