The elusive charm of corruption. As Russia “buy” the benevolence of the West

Who said that Russia is impossible to trade profitably? This is a real lie: with Russia only profitable, and can be traded. For this you need a good grasp of the local situation — to understand the laws and people. Indeed, in Russia laws are made only for people, and everyone knows their names. What kind of orders there, recently confirmed a legislative whirlwind that swept through the State Duma. First, the oligarchs from the circle of Putin’s friends, property which in the West were seized, the whole damage is fully compensated for by a special law. The following is a special law that literally in one weekend was approved by the state Duma, forever freed them from taxation. Even if the sanctions somehow miraculously suddenly over and arrested property tycoons will return, financial compensation and tax holidays they would not be deprived. So losses to these guys compensated three times. These “peculiarities of national hunting” we have a good command of those who in past times they were used, and now loudly protests against the sanctions.

Large scheme with the Czech debt

A brilliant example of this entrepreneurial balancing act — selling “Russian debt” in the late 90s. during the period when Russia is ready and ahead of get rid of the “old debt” burden to creditors from the Paris club, the Czech government in a fit of inexplicable generosity decided that the amount of debt, among other things, several hundred million dollars, it is impossible to recover. So and sold it for a knockdown price specially open firm, which recommended itself by presenting a letter from a Russian Minister. Bought for a pittance the state the bonds were sold several times more expensive, RAO “UES” headed by the deft Anatoly Chubais, who with worthless pieces of paper then paid the debt in foreign currency, which a few days before received from the state Bank. In the first January issue of 2000 Russian economic newspaper “Vedomosti” has called this entire deal the biggest Scam of the past year. And be sure that all members of this wonderful transaction remained highly satisfied. All, except for the Czech taxpayers, who for the “best” commodity exchange with Russia paid twice: first in the form of state guarantees, and the second time a write-off of losses.

All on Rhodes

It is not surprising that sanctions against Putin seriously damaged the interests of entrepreneurs accustomed to exist in the Russian swamps. “I’m not going to deal with the profitability of less than 300%” — said to me one merchant, who at the time was serving a sentence. After the annexation of Crimea, and in particular after the presidential elections in the United States, trade relations between the West and Russia have been some atmospheric changes, is not conducive to fabulous profits. People who have transformed relations with Russia in a profitable business, you begin to lose ground. Nobody doubts that General Michael Flynn was a loyal and honest soldier, but the counselor had to leave due to his connections with the Russians.

Recently resigned Deputy Chairman of the Lithuanian Seimas, without passing the test of access to classified information only because of the fact that before mixing with the Russians, especially representatives of the Russian state companies and Nestorovich enterprises with local entrepreneurs of Russian origin and so on. In General, no convicted spies.

While the Czech Republic has not progressed as far as Lithuania, but also in our relationship with Russian, as a rule, do not bring anything good, yet none of them resigned not gone. The Russian oligarch and the manufacturer knows what that supposedly is sold, Konstantin Malofeyev worked in the interests of the Kremlin in several European countries: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and the Balkans. As the media learned of his e-mails, Malofeev everywhere took an active part in local social life, especially during the election period. Where he arranged and paid for a trip of the trusted deputies of the Slavophiles in the Crimea and the Donbas, where, as in Vienna, held a Congress of compatriots with interesting political guests. Hard Malofeev, of course, is a special example of wrecking activities of “near abroad”, but anyone who understands the issue, knows that the tactics Malofeeva is no different from hundreds of similar “operations” beyond the borders of the Russian Federation. Before the annexation of Crimea this ant work seemed to support the interests of friendly relations and even cooperation with the young Russian democracy. After the Crimea was sobering and there was a need to reassess the activities, looking into the past. Those who eagerly participated in all these dialogues of St. Petersburg, Valdai clubs, and dialogues of civilizations, tens and hundreds of other programs today scratch their head. What was their participation in such large-scale events, which are always generously funded, as a rule, the Russian oligarchs? How is it possible to worthless ten-minute speech, hastily drawn up by the assistant instructor, on some “Dialogue of civilizations” in Rhodes, the Central European politician, received more not subject to any taxes money than a good writer for a bestseller? After the Crimea in the environment of the traditional parties began to spread the feeling that slowly but surely they are included in a new ideological system of the Kremlin staff. Some refused membership in the “new Comintern” and ceased to apply for grants and make monetary offerings. Others, overjoyed, still allow themselves to bribe, and in return are forced to praise the occupation of the Crimea, Donbass and everything else that Vladimir Putin wants to occupy.

Over all these varied relations dominated business. What, in fact, turned into an incredible outflow of capital abroad through offshore companies? The laundered money was partially invested again in their own country, and the greater part invested in nice stuff abroad, such as firms, business interests, real estate from London to Karlovy vary, yachts, horses and so on. This whole mechanism for pumping money needed to maintain, attracting millions of attendants. This heated different contractors, such as lawyers, dealers at the local level, politicians, members, filmmakers and other masters of entertainment, interpreters, employee escort services, and so on. It primarily is not about “recruiting,” but about the psychological phenomenon known to each of us: we somehow uncomfortable to criticize a friend who helped us with money in a difficult situation. So instead of loudly denounce skunk, we prefer to be silent and pretend that nothing do not notice.

The whole decade, approximately as long as the Russian government confiscated the Khodorkovsky Yukos, Moscow stubbornly plowed plow Western soil. It’s not about corruption per se — there are more than a thousand more elegant and accepted ways of expressing gratitude: kickbacks, neutral exchange bonus and providing various benefits, a friendly invitation in the famous Russian bath with a nice bath attendants, private hunting, shooting sheep from a helicopter, and more. Russia is not the only economy in the world, where Eastern traditions prevail. About the operated trade exchange with other countries already forgotten organizations of the BRICS.

Millions of loyal partners

And suddenly the annexation of Crimea has complicated such a smoothly flowing process of “hilling” and cultivating a friendly soil. Suddenly, in front of all the “partners” faced with the need to mark their opinion about the actions of Putin. When the Russian President accidentally speaks the phrase “our partners”, he probably means not diplomatic representatives, and the millions of people who parasitized on relations with Russia. None of them knows what will happen next. The regime of sanctions and counter-sanctions can survive, but Putin calls from “partners” more and more manifestations of loyalty. Despite the fact that, formally, the Russian President did not shoot down the Malaysian Boeing, did not kill himself Nemtsov shot in the head, knows nothing about Russian officers vacationers in the East of Ukraine, is not responsible for the attempted coup in Montenegro, learns about the hacker attacks abroad only out of print, and the activities of populist parties in the West does not Finance himself, as any entrepreneur Usovsky through the First Czech-Russian Bank (now bankrupt), each new step Putin increases uncertainty and harm trade relations with Russia. Nice commercial activity becomes in the eyes of the Western partners of Russia in “criminal Alliance.” And not one person swallows nervously at the thought, who is he, in fact, did business. Was it coincidence that the Russian intelligence? Not if it was all a lure to attract to lobbying schemes?