Kidnapping of LUKoil vice president indicates Russia's being dangerous for investors

The more time passes since the day of the kidnapping of senior vicepresident of the LUKoil oil company Sergey Kukura, the more questions,puzzlement and alarm arises regarding this unprecedented case. One mayassume that both the mysterious kidnappers and those who are to fight them,play a game of silence. There has been no new information about thecircumstances of Thursday's kidnapping of LUKoil's senior finance managerso far. As for the web site of the company, no information regarding thekidnapping has been poster there at all.There could be three reasons for this: either the criminals have emergedand make their demands, which will not be published, of course; or they arewaiting for a good time to state their demands; or, which is the worst,they have been torturing their victim for four days in a row. All thepublic knows is that a criminal case was filed and that the InteriorMinistry and LUKoil's security service agreed to a joint investigation.Meanwhile, almost all leading world mass media estimated Kukura'skidnapping as a powerful blow to the prestige of Russian business andRussia itself. For example, the New York Times points out that the incidenttook place the day after the Russian Union of Industrialists andEntrepreneurs had announced its plans for holding an advertising campaignfor improving the image of Russian businesses in the West. The kidnappingof a top manager of the largest Russian oil company can damage the effortsof the Russian President to present Russia as safe for investors, the WallStreet Journal says.Many comments lead to the idea that this crime should be considered as aterrorist act, as it is not about the fate of just one petroleum officer,but about an act against the national security of Russia. When the seniorvice president of the producer of 20 percent of Russia's oil disappears,this first of all means that the business in Russia has not managed to getaway from the criminal world, in which it was born a decade ago. And thismean! s that Russian business still cannot be trusted.However, Russians themselves failed to fully estimate the threat of whathad happened to LUKoil. There is no other way to explain why thisunprecedented crime against a company working in state interests, arouseonly routine response of the Interior Ministry and the regionalprosecutor's office. At the same time, though this deals with stateinterests, nothing is known about the participation of other specialservices in the investigation, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported..


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