The total amount of Russian investment in Lithuania is now four times below the level it was a decade ago, dropping to €500 million last year, reports business daily Verslo Žinios.
Lukoil
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

However, the number of Russian companies operating in the country, about 3,000, has not dropped since before the 2008 economic crisis.

Invest Lithuania, the government's foreign investment agency, says it is conducting talks with 13 potential investors from Russia.

Lukoil, which operates a network of petrol stations in Lithuania and Latvia, has recently announced it is selling off its assets in the Baltic countries. The company quoted a prevailing anti-Russian mood as the main reason for its withdrawal, although experts say it is more likely to do with profit considerations.

Gazprom, Russia's state-owned gas behemoth, was forced to divest from Lithuania's gas infrastructure after the country implemented the European Union's Third Energy Package. In 2014, the Lithuanian government bought out the majority stake in Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas), which was previously 37% owned by Gazprom.

Following these divestments by the Russian energy giants, Vaidotas Rūkas of INVL Asset Management said that Russian investment in Lithuania is negligible, if one discounts real estate bought by Russian companies and individuals.

However, Viktorija Trimbel, chief executive of Quantum Capital, said that if one wants to judge foreign direct investment from Russian sources, it is a good idea to look at what is happening in Cyprus, Malta, the Netherlands and other jurisdictions where Russians often register their businesses.

She said a lot of Russian, Belarusian and even local capital comes to Lithuania via these countries.

"I don't see any retreat of Russian businesses from Lithuania or the Baltic states. It's just jurisdictional corrections," Trimbel told Verslo Žinios.

Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Lithuania's budget gets EUR 4 mln of "nobody's money" after FNTT probes

4 million euros, officially recognized as having no owner, have been transferred to the state budget...

Lithuanian govt hopes papal visit will encourage religious tourism

Lithuania's government hopes the upcoming papal visit will encourage religious tourism in the country...

Lithuania ahead of Latvia, Poland, but behind Estonia on social progress index

The social environment in Lithuania is better than in Latvia and Poland, but worse than in Estonia,...

PM to invite European retailers to invest in Lithuania

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says he plans to invite 12 European major retail chains...

Akmenė awaiting ground-shaking investment

Lithuania's northern district of Akmenė barely lags behind other cities in Šiauliai County in terms...