ISSN (Print) 1996-7845

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Sergey Lavrov , Anna Aleksanyan

Case study: The Transnationalization of Russian Oil and Gas Companies

2017. Vol. 12. No. 1. P. 209–228 [issue contents]

The value of multinational enterprises (MNEs) as the main players in the global economy is constantly increasing. More and more companies from developing and transition economies are starting to do business beyond their national borders. Not all of them strictly belong to the category of MNEs, as is the case for Russia’s largest companies.

This article analyzes the international activities of Russian MNEs. The authors study the place of MNEs in the modern world and examine the transformation of the concept of an MNE in the international practice. They identify the internationally accepted criteria that classify a company as an MNE. They analyze the international activities of the largest Russian companies in the oil and gas sector (Gazprom, Rosneft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegas, Novatek) and their possible classification as MNEs. The article also assesses the influence of the economic and political sanctions on the international activities of Russian MNEs in the oil and gas sector.

The methodological basis for the study is the dialectical method of investigating phenomena and processes in the modern world as the most effective way to achieve goals. The authors pay particular attention to the practical application of comparative economic analysis, classification and empirical generalization of original data.

The authors came to seven conclusions. First, there is no single approach to defining the essence of MNEs. Second, the indicators that classify a company as an MNE can be divided into qualitative and quantitative criteria. Third, not all the large companies in Russia engaged in expanding into foreign markets can be classified as MNEs by the formal criteria. Fourth, most Russian MNEs have an unstable position in international ratings of MNEs, with the exception of Lukoil. Fifth, the main problems of Russian MNEs include the inefficiency of foreign assets, the lack of experience in managing international holdings and the longstanding crisis of the Russian economy. Sixth, political and economic sanctions severely restrict the business relationship between Russian companies (particularly oil and gas companies) and key international partners, which leads to decreased investment, disrupted implementation of many major projects plans and the decline of companies’ financial performance. Seventh, the current situation should spur Russian companies to adapt their economic policies to the new economic realities, to restore full technological and financial chains via expanding business relationships with companies in developing countries, using private sector resources and government support.

Lavrov S., Aleksanyan A. (2017) Case study: The Transnationalization of Russian Oil and Gas Companies. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 12, no 1, pp. 209–228 (in Russian and English). DOI:10.17323/1996-7845-2017-01-209.
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