EDITORIAL: Russia, for Sale


Russia, for Sale

Last week, the U.S. government filed a lawsuit against Daimler Corporation, accusing it of paying more than $4 million in bribes to high-ranking Russian government officials in order to win preferences for its vehicles in Russian government contracts.  The Company is subject to U.S. laws because its shares are traded on the U.S. exchanges.  It’s reported that Daimler has already confessed its guilt and agreed to pay nearly $200 million in fines.

It’s hard to know what aspect of this pathetic, outrageous, humiliating disaster is the most pernicious for Russia.

Is it the fact that Russia can’t make enough quality vehicles to satisfy the Russian government’s needs?

Is it instead the fact that it was the U.S. government, not the Russian, which rooted out this horrifying graft?

Or could it be the mere fact that the Russian government is so riddled with corruption from top to bottom that it isn’t even surprising to learn that high-ranking officials accept millions in bribes to buy cars from foreign countries?

Any way you look at it, the spectacle of this corruption and its permutations means only one thing for Russia: Absolute doom.

So much for Russian “president” Dima Medvedev’s plan to root out corruption.  We will wait for Medvedev to start investigating the high-ranking Kremlin officials who were undoubtedly the beneficiaries of Daimler’s largesse with bated breath.

We will wait for him to call for the sweeping legal reform that would make it possible for Russia not just to avoid this type of pernicious bribery, but also to actually start manufacturing vehicles that will be good enough for the Kremlin to use (or at least to make Russian car makers successful enough so that they can compete in bribe offering with the Germans).

We know, of course, that none of that will ever happen, both because Medvedev is not a reformer and because, even if he were, he lacks the authority to implement any significant reforms.  So the Kremlin will go on buying cars from foreign nations, sending a clear signal to Russians that their own vehicles are simply not good enough, even as the nationalists in the Putin regime go on hypocritically attacking foreigners.  And Russia will continue on its path to national collapse.

8 responses to “EDITORIAL: Russia, for Sale

  1. Excellent Article.

    Here is Yulia Latinia article about this as well:

    This is neo-soviet “elites” for you. They love such things.

    It is outrageous how Italy and Germany treay Russia. Very possible that some of those 4 millions dollar bribes “transformed” into someone’s villa in Italy.

    Only UK and US made visas stricter for Russian officials. These are real countries to be proud of. Europe often acts like Putin’s puppy… it’s a shame.

  2. Our government is sueing a foreign company for paying bribes to do business in a country where you can’t do business otherwise with the pretext that their shares are traded on our stock exchange. If that doesn’t tell you something right off the bat about the US Government nothing will.

    • Their shares being traded on our stock exchange is not a mere pretext, it’s a very big deal and a huge advantage. That’s why so many foreign companies seek listing on NY Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, etc.

      And that bribes are required to do business is not an excuse. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act clearly prohibits it, and this rationale (“we pay bribes because we must”) was raised many times in the past and was never found convincing in any court. If you want to be listed on an American exchange, you must follow American rules.

      • The courts are not foreign businessmen. Have you ever heard of any foreign government doing this here to one of our companies under similar circumstances?

  3. I won’t buy Mercedes now. Don’t want to sponsor corrupted russians in Kremlin and fines to US government. No wonder Mercedes servicing is so expensive. They have so many curious projects…

    • Good idea. Save your money for a bicycle.

      • Well comrade RTR, another one of your irresponsibly stupid remarks!

        Just because a person is not going to buy a Merc., which is a German car, does not mean he is not going to buy another car. This gentleman, i.e. Alex, will most probably settle for either an American, Australian, British, Japanese, Swedish or Korean, – just to name a few – etc. car.

        IF, AND ONLY IF on the other hand the world was going to run out of Petroleum, mineral oil, coal, etc. (extremely unlikely). and hence there was no gasoline or petrol, etc. to run their combustion or steam turbine engines on. Then people would have to turn to other forms of transport, like sun cell powered cars, horses, camels, asses, donkeys and bicycles etc..

        Do us a favor and save your immature jokes for the likes of Putler’s ruSSia. Where I’m sure you will have a captive audience on the likes of “RTR”, “PRAVDA” and et. al..

        Bah! what a wasted space. Wait I can hear mama Putin calling you, better run home to your mummy little chap, where you can cry on her shoulder, you Putin apologist.

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