A woman walks past a closed re:Store, an Apple reseller shop, at a mall in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Russia's Economic Development Ministry has drafted legislation aimed at preventing the mounting exit of international businesses from Russia over the war in Ukraine, and potentially laying the groundwork for nationalizing them.

The bill envisions that the state-owned Vnesheconombank and the state export-guarantee agency would have the right to seize the property of foreign companies that left Russian markets of their own accord.

The bill comes as a growing number of major international companies have announced they will suspend operations in the country, or pull out altogether, in connection with Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Comment: It's actually an incursion because, unlike the West, Russia has no intention of staying in Ukraine.

The legislation "is the first step toward the nationalization of foreign organizations leaving Russia," said the ruling United Russia party, which dominates parliament and routinely rubber-stamps government or Kremlin initiatives.

Under the bill, Russia would have a right to take over foreign businesses for up to three months in cases where foreign companies' managers "de facto ceased" to direct the businesses. The bill also states that when foreign companies carry out actions that could lead to their "ungrounded" liquidation or bankruptcy, the government will have up to six months to take them over.

The new companies' shares would be offered for trading, while the old companies would be liquidated. If nobody was interested in owning the new companies, they would be nationalized, the bill says.

According to the Izvestia newspaper, the ministry has already sent to the government and the Prosecutor-General's Office a list of some 60 foreign companies that have left the Russian market and may be nationalized.

Among other businesses, the list includes Volkswagen, Apple, IKEA, Microsoft, IBM, Shell, McDonald's, Porsche, H&M, and others.

Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, said it would close its operations in Russia entirely, making it the first major Wall Street bank to do so. And JPMorgan Chase said it was winding down its Russian banking business.

Comment: The same banks that helped create the global banking collapse of 2007...

Speaking at a meeting at the Kremlin on March 10, President Vladimir Putin tried to push back on the Western sanction that have hammered the Russian economy, and could cause severe economic problems in the coming months.

"The pressure of sanctions has always been there. Yes, of course, now it is complex and creates certain challenges, problems, difficulties for us," Putin said, according to a Kremlin transcript.

"But just as we overcame these difficulties in the previous years, we will overcome them now. We must go through this period. The economy will certainly adapt to the new situation."