Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 21 December 2022 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
Gazprom, Rosneft Employees Banned from Leaving Russia
Employees of Russian state-run oil and gas companies have been banned from leaving the country, according to independent Russian media outlets. Gazprom employees have seen the strictest ban as neither they nor their families are allowed to travel abroad. It is another chapter of Russia’s wartime communism strategy that seeks to align the state economy with its war machine. Likewise, the authorities hope to prevent senior energy officials from fleeing the country.
Employees of Russian state-owned oil and gas companies were “unofficially” banned from leaving Russia. The ban also applies to their closest relatives, including spouses and children, writes the Verstka portal with reference to sources in Gazprom and Rosneft. At Gazprom, the ban covers all employees while only senior officials are not allowed to travel abroad at Rosneft. A middle manager in the St. Petersburg office of Gazprom added that it is not possible to leave “even to Turkey.” According to him, the innovation affects a large part of the employees of the central office of the state monopoly of the Russian Federation. Another employee confirmed they were banned from traveling abroad. The security service will monitor the implementation of the ban at Gazprom. At the same time, many Gazprom employees have already bought tickets and booked hotels abroad for the New Year holidays. Under the ban, neither Gazprom employees nor their families are allowed to leave even for treatment. The same ban applies to Rosneft, state company employees say. Senior employees were required to sign an additional agreement, according to which they cannot travel outside of Russia. This is just the beginning of top-down attempts to insulate the Russian labor market, especially in strategic sectors. A group of Russian parliamentary deputies and senators will introduce a bill to ban remote work for certain workers. This could apply to cybersecurity and transportation workers as well as public sector employees. According to Verstka, large Russian firms, including Sberbank and Nornickel, are introducing a ban on remote work for employees of Russian IT companies who live outside of Russia. This policy could deliver a new blow to the Russian economy. Since President Vladimir Putin announced a military mobilization, Russia has seen the loss of working-age people, entrepreneurs, and trained specialists, which has been a significant drain for the country. Consequently, more people could leave Russia.
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