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Russia bans foriegn control of resources - rest of BRIC to follow?

Russia closed the door on foreign companies. She will bar foreign-owned companies from bidding for the country's most lucrative natural resources this year in the most explicit and sweeping manifestation of a nationalistic state policy developed under the presidency of Vladimir Putin.

Foreign-controlled companies in Russia will no longer be allowed to develop major natural resource deposits, Russian Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev said Feb. 10.

Affected projects include the Sakhalin-3 oil field, which Exxon Mobil planned to develop; the Sukhoi Log gold mines and the Udokan copper deposit. Only companies with majority-Russian ownership will be allowed to develop these deposits.

China already protects her natural resources from foreign companies. India has a similar policy in place though things are under review from the current Indian administration.

Brazil and South Africa right now are open but according to sources may consider otherwise. The BRICS nations these move together and support each other.

Russian President Putin’s move makes it clear for BRICS alliance that the trend will be more nationalistic. The net loser will be Western mining and drilling companies dependent on natural resources of countries like Brazil and South Africa.

Editorial Notes: Original title: "Russia closes door to Foreign Companies trying to develop mineral resources in Russia – will BRICS (Brazil, India, China and South Africa) follow?". Feb. 11, 2005 -LJ

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