One thought on Navalny

A few months ago, journalist Julia Ioffe (whose defunct blog was long linked at right), published a profile of anti-corruption crusader Alexey Navalny in the New Yorker.

The article is quite good, and worth a read:

But shortly after publication of the article, she did an online Q&A with readers, which can be found here:

She was asked whether or not Western companies that do business in Russia are corrupt. Her response: “When in Rome, do as the Romans.”

Personally, I have never before been more convinced that this is true as I am now.

This blog post incidentally coincides with an appearance by Alexei Navalny yesterday on Ekho Moskvy. The transcript and audio are available here:

On Russia, and specifically on Rosneft, I think that the following excerpt of Navalny’s comments best displays the strength of his argument (sorry for the hasty translation):

– Если компания хочет скрывать информацию о себе, пусть она тогда перестанет быть публичной компанией, превращается в общество с ограниченной ответственностью. Представить себе, согласитесь, дикость крупнейшая в России нефтяная компания, открытое акционерное общество говорит, а мы будем работать в режиме секретности. От кого у них секреты?

– If a company wishes to hide information about itself, then it stops being a public company and it instead becomes a limited liability company. Imagine the absurdity when the largest oil company in Russia, an (open) joint stock company says “we will operate in a regime of secrecy”. Who exactly are they keeping secrets from?

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