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March 21, 2014

RUSSIA: Ukranian Roshen factory seized by police “without notice”

Ukranian confectionery firm Roshen's chocolate factory in Lypetsk, Russia has been seized by police.

Ukranian confectionery firm Roshen’s chocolate factory in Lypetsk, Russia has been seized by police.

A joint statement issued yesterday (21 March) by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the Ministry of Economic Development of Ukraine confirmed that the seizure had taken place “without notice”.

“Representatives of Russian law enforcement agencies did not provide any documentation that would give them the right to break into the premises and suspend production. The company Roshen had not received any official notice or warning, which would be a prerequisite for the unlawful interference in their activities,” it read.

The bodies added they believed the move was a “logical continuation of the politically-motivated launched against Ukrainian investors last year when, when a Rospotrebnadzor decision essentially introduced sanctions against the Roshen company as one of the largest Ukrainian producers”.

The news comes as tensions between Russia and Ukraine have escalated following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region.

Earlier this week X5 Retail Group had reportedly exited Ukraine selling off its businesses to local rival Varus. Metro Group also decided to hold off on an IPO of part of its Russian cash-and-carry business.

“With this incident, the Russian government is setting a dangerous precedent that may result in boomerang-like consequences,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine on the seizure of Roshen’s facility, adding that they “demand Russian official agencies immediately cease interfering in the production and provide explanations for seizing Roshen properties”.

A spokesperson for Roshen could not be immediately reached for comment.

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