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Political Fears Prevent US Investors From Seeing Benefits of Russian Market

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Oversensitivity to geopolitical risk keeps US investors from seeing the advantages of the Russian market, stated Alexis Rodzianko, the head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia (AmCham Russia).

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The AmCham Russia head expressed hope that US sanctions against Moscow and Russia’s reciprocal food import ban would be lifted soon. According to Rodzianko, these measures "distort life, make living more expensive" and eliminating them "would be better for everyone."

"Currently, when [US] investors think of Russia, the geopolitical factor is the most striking. If they understand that the focus is shifting away from this factor, than other factors – for instance, that assets and the ruble are becoming cheaper in Russia — are becoming more obvious," Rodzianko told RIA Novosti.

He added that American Chamber of Commerce member companies had no plans to leave the Moscow market, adding that, amid a slump in oil prices and the decreasing value of the Russian national currency, Russia is increasingly competitive.

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"Russia now has an opportunity to become an exporter of processed products, something that would be absolutely impossible with a very expensive ruble. According to the most recent studies, Russia has become a very competitive country, much like China in this aspect," he said.

Relations between Moscow and Washington deteriorated following Crimea's reunification with Russia and the escalation of tensions in Ukraine in 2014. The United States and their allies accused Russia of fueling the internal Ukrainian conflict — a claim Moscow has repeatedly denied — and began imposing sanctions.

In August 2014, Russia responded to Western restrictions by imposing a ban on food imports from countries that had introduced anti-Russia sanctions.

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