OREANDA-NEWS. February 10, 2012. The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) is for liberalizing national economy, said Deputy Head of FAS Russia, Andrey Tsyganov, speaking at a conference of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) - Tools for Stimulating Foreign Investments in Russia, reported the press-centre of FAS Russia.

The conference was part of Russian Business Week 2012 organized by RSPP. The conference was attended by the President of RSPP Alexander Shokhin, representatives of governmental authorities, business and non-governmental organizations.

Discussions focused on the investment climate in Russia, new opportunities for investors under the framework of the Single Economic Space of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, the mechanisms of state financial support of investments and special economic zones, new instruments for attracting and support of investments, [participation of foreign investments in infrastructure projects, regional investment policy.

At the conference Deputy Head of FAS Russia, Andrey Tsyganov, talked about the third antimonopoly package of laws that came into force at the beginning of 2012 and liberal amendments to the law on foreign investments.

We have a single strategic line liberalize conditions for business in Russia in general and with regard to foreign investments in particular, emphasized Andrey Tsyganov at the RSPP conference.

Reference
The third antimonopoly package of laws

On 6 and 7 January 2012, came into force the Federal Law On Introducing Amendments to the Federal Law On Protection of Competition and Some Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation and the Federal Law On Introducing Amendments to the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Violations that constitute the third antimonopoly package.

The main changes put forward by the third antimonopoly package are aimed at clarifying requirements to anticompetitive agreements and concerted actions, clarifying criteria of monopolistically high price and formalizing the right of the Government of the Russian Federation to determine the rules of non-discriminatory access to the facilities of market infrastructure in natural monopolies, as well as clarifying the procedures for state control over economic concentration and the procedures for investigating cases on violations of the antimonopoly law.

Changes to the Federal Law On Protection of Competition give the antimonopoly authority the right to issue warnings to executive officers of economic entities that make public statements about intended conduct on the market if such statements can result in violating the antimonopoly law.

The third antimonopoly package also allows the antimonopoly authority to issue a warning to an economic entity that has dominant position on the market to stop actions (omissions) that have signs of violating the antimonopoly law.

New Article 18 is added to the Federal Law On Protection of Competition that establishes an administrative procedure for investigating complaints about actions (omissions) of an organizer of competitive bidding, an operator of an electronic site, a tender or an auction commission in course of organizing competitive bidding, concluding contracts upon the outcome of bidding or if competitive bidding, that are mandatory under the law of the Russian Federation, are declared void.

The third antimonopoly package clarifies criminal liability for violating the antimonopoly law as well as several procedural norms that determine administrative proceedings.

Changes to the Law on Foreign Investments

On 18th December 2011 came into force No.322-FZ Federal Law On Introducing Amendments to Article 6 of the Federal Law On Foreign Investments in the Russian Federation and the Federal Law On the Procedures for Foreign Investments in the Business Entities of Strategic Importance for National Defence and State Security of 17th November 2011, that provides for measures liberalizing control over foreign investments in strategic sectors of the economy of the Russian Federation.

The amendments, in particular:

- Exclude control over transactions between organizations that are controlled by Russian owners as well as transactions involving international financial organizations, the list of which are to be approved by the Government of the Russian Federation;

- Change the criterion for economic entities being controlled by foreign investors in use of subsoil of federal status from 10 to 25 % voting shares (equity stakes) of the authorized capital;

- Exclude the following from the list of strategic activities: exploiting sources of radiation by economic entities in the civil sector of the economy, for whom such activity is not the main one, and information encryption by the banks (without participation of the Russian Federation).

***

FAS Russia is an authorized body for control over foreign investments in the Russian Federation. The antimonopoly authority gives opinions on received petitions, carries out inspections, and prepares informational and analytical materials and proposals regarding possible decisions for the Commission of the Government of the Russian Federation that makes decisions on petitions filed under the law on foreign investment in strategic enterprises.