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Moscow takes additional steps to conceal government contracts from prying eyes

Source: Kommersant

The Russian government has reportedly drafted a list of 126 companies (primarily enterprises owned or operated by the state) that will be permitted to reach state procurement deals in secret. Beginning on December 15, these companies’ contracts with the government will move to Russia’s platform for defense orders, where they won’t need to disclose their clients.

According to Kommersant, the measure is most likely designed to counter future U.S. sanctions against persons and businesses with ties to the Russian government.

In late November, Dmitry Medvedev signed a resolution allowing state companies to wait until July 1, 2018, to publish procurement data about suppliers and subcontractors. Sources close to Rosneft and Roscosmos told the newspaper Vedomosti that state companies don’t want to disclose data about their contractors because it would reveal how they are circumventing Western sanctions, particularly when it comes to technologies that would be difficult to replace.

In October 2017, the Trump administration published a list of Russian-connected entities, saying it would impose sanctions on U.S. individuals and companies that did “significant” business with them. The list includes several suppliers and contractors for Russia’s Federal Security Service and Foreign Intelligence Service.