3. Operating environment of the Group

The Group’s operations are primarily located in the Russian Federation. Consequently, the Group is exposed to the economic and financial markets of the Russian Federation which display characteristics of an emerging market. The legal, tax and regulatory frameworks continue development, but are subject to varying interpretations and frequent changes which together with other legal and fiscal impediments contribute to the challenges faced by entities operating in the Russian Federation.

The recent conflict in Ukraine and related events has increased the perceived risks of doing business in the Russian Federation. The imposition of economic sanctions on Russian individuals and legal entities by the European Union, the United States of America, Japan, Canada, Australia and others, as well as retaliatory sanctions imposed by the Russian government, has resulted in increased economic uncertainty including more volatile equity markets, a depreciation of the Russian Ruble, a reduction in both local and foreign direct investment inflows and a significant tightening in the availability of credit. In particular, some Russian entities may be experiencing difficulties in accessing international equity and debt markets and may become increasingly dependent on Russian state banks to finance their operations. The longer term effects of recently implemented sanctions, as well as the threat of additional future sanctions, are difficult to determine.

The consolidated financial statements reflect management’s assessment of the impact of the Russian business environment on the operations and the financial position of the Group. The future business environment may differ from management’s assessment.

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