Reuters Exclusive: Gazprom to cut hundreds of traders as Kremlin retreats from West

MOSCOW (Reuters) by Christian Lowe – Russian gas giant Gazprom will cut hundreds of jobs at its overseas trading and export offices, including Britain, and move them to St Petersburg, according to two sources familiar with the plan, which comes at a time of rising tensions with the West. One of the sources said the decision reflected a broader trend of Russian state firms retreating from the West as part of President Vladimir Putin’s drive to repatriate capital to reduce exposure to sanctions and also shore up the domestic economy. “In Russia, this story can be sold as a job creation exercise on home turf. This is useful, especially ahead of the presidential election,” said the source, referring to the vote on Sunday that Putin is widely expected to win. The reorganization comes as relations between Russia and Britain, where Gazprom has the largest trading office by far, have hit a new low after Prime Minister Theresa May said Moscow was to blame for the attempted murder a former Russian double agent in an English city. However the jobs decision was taken earlier this year, long before the spy scandal erupted, according to the sources who declined to be named… continue reading

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