Russia tightens rules for foreign water investors

Published February 8th, 2018

The Russian government has restricted foreign access to concessions in its domestic water market, in a move widely seen as a response to international financial sanctions on the country.

Construction, industry, housing and utilities minister Mikhail Men said that only companies with established and taxed Russian subsidiaries would be allowed to participate in tenders, and that there would be additional disclosure rules for any foreign-owned companies.

Although as yet there have been no long-term water concessions signed by foreign water companies in the Russian water sector, a number of negotiations are ongoing, and the decision by the government is likely to disappoint potential partners such as Veolia, which had been in talks over investments into local vodokanals (water companies).

A spokesman for Men denied that the latest move was a response to sanctions being imposed, saying the new amendments would “serve as an additional measure to support Russian investors”.