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The Right to Defence: Business in Russia and Abroad

17 June 2022
Право на защиту: бизнес в России и за рубежом

Key conclusions


The prosecutor’s office is responsible for improving existing mechanisms to protect the rights of businesses and maintain a favourable investment climate

“My position is unchanged – there need to be fewer inspections. And they must be reduced. We will ensure this happens through all legal methods and means available to us,” Igor Krasnov, Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.

“The development of entrepreneurial activity – both at home and abroad – undoubtedly depends on the level of legal protection that exists. In this context, the quality of legislation providing protection in this area plays a decisive role, as does its ability to address modern challenges through the effective application of appropriate civil and criminal law mechanisms. These mechanisms are tasked with preventing phenomena which may hinder the development of free enterprise. <...> With this in mind, raising the level of protection for businesses... is consistently front and centre of Armenia’s legal reforms,” Artur Davtyan, Prosecutor General of the Republic of Armenia. 

“The prosecutor general’s office [in Egypt – ed.] has a prosecutor specializing in cases related to trade and finance. <...> This prosecutor also has expertise in other key offences which are directly related to economic offences. These include cybercrimes. <...> The prosecutor general must... protect investors from all crimes and contribute to... protecting the investment climate,” Hamada El-Sawy, Prosecutor General of the Arab Republic of Egypt.




The creation of artificial barriers and pressure from law enforcement 

“We also understand that artificial encumbrances have disrupted a great many supply chains in our country. Unfortunately, this has sometimes resulted in traffic jams stretching back kilometres and queues of lorries at the border. This in turn has a bearing on the prices of specific goods... and increases the risk of social tension,” Igor Krasnov, Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.

“Of course, the work being done today on overseeing banks in relation to unreasonable loan interest hikes is very important. That’s particularly the case for fixed rates. <...> Customs is a particularly important area, especially in the context of the current crisis. While we experienced issues in the past, today it is becoming absolutely vital to make things fast and transparent,” Boris Titov, Presidential Commissioner of the Russian Federation for the Protection of Entrepreneurs’ Rights.

“What do we need to work on? Of course, we can still see a high amount of pressure on business exerted by law enforcement. And the second issue that’s worrying entrepreneurs is, of course, unjust decisions on the part of the commercial court system,” Alexander Kalinin, President, OPORA RUSSIA All-Russian Non-Governmental Organization of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses. 




Reducing the time taken to clear goods imported by businesses, employing a more flexible approach to punishing business violations, and analysing pre-trial appeals in order to identify and address the most contentious requirements

“We need to minimize the time taken to clear goods imported by businesses. Customs control and clearance should be done at the final point of delivery. Our legislation, incidentally, makes allowances for this. <...> Of course, at the same time, we should push ahead with efforts to develop criteria upon which companies are subjected to customs control. A risk-based approach should be factored in here. <...> We have come up with the corresponding proposals, and these are currently being worked on. <...> And when business violations are identified, a more flexible approach to punishment needs to be taken. <...> Today, work is also under way on a system allowing for the deferral of fine payments in cases where there was no significant loss or harm caused to people’s lives or health. Another key aspect... is the digitalization of state and municipal services provided to entrepreneurs. This can help eliminate the risk of corruption, as well as avoid delays on the part of officials,” Igor Krasnov, Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.

“We want to use statistics and analyse appeals... made at the pre-trial stage to identify the requirements which are most difficult to adhere to, or which are the most contentious or conflicting. Once this is done, we aim to work together to iron them out, including by using the well-known regulatory guillotine,” Alexey Khersontsev, State Secretary – Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.



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