: Putin advises Russian businessmen against selling Ukrainian assets

17:58 Mar. 25, 2016

Putin advises Russian businessmen against selling Ukrainian assets

Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a meeting with Russian prosecutors in Moscow, Russia on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. (AP Images)

Russian companies still own large assets in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin advises Russian businesses against selling their Ukrainian assets as the leadership in Ukraine may change, Russian news agency RBC reported citing one of the participants in a closed meeting between Putin and business representatives in Moscow.

"The president has made it clear that the leadership there may change, but companies and Ukraine would remain in place," a source said, RBC wrote.

Putin recommended taking a wait-and-see approach as long as there is still hope for the normalization of relations, it said.

"He [Putin] also said that one could feel pressure in the [Ukrainian] financial and banking sector, but the situation could be different with industrial assets. But his assessment was: 'One can wait to see how the developments will be unfolding,'" the source said.

Read also Belarus negotiating for discount on Russian gas

Russia's Central Bank estimated the balance of Russia's direct investment in the Ukrainian economy at USD 2.17 billion as of October 1, 2015. Of the amount, USD 1.48 billion was equity capital, and USD 691 million was debt instruments.

Smaller investment includes A1 investment company's ownership of a 24% stake in Regal Petroleum, while Moscow-based Proxima Capital Group owns a 20% stake in JKX Oil & Gas with assets in Ukraine.

Watch also Russia lost USD 250 billion during two years under sanctions

Reporting by UNIAN

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