Russia proposes to nationalize foreign-owned factories that close

Andrey Turchak, Secretary of the General Council of the United Russia Party, speaks during a news conference in Donetsk, Ukraine February 23, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermoshenko

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COPENHAGEN, March 8 (Reuters) – A senior Russian ruling party official has proposed nationalizing foreign-owned factories that were shutting down operations in the country over what the Kremlin calls a special military operation in Ukraine.

Several foreign companies including Ford (FN) and Nike have announced temporary store and factory closures in Russia to pressure the Kremlin to stop its invasion of neighboring Ukraine and have their supply chains closed. disturbed. Read more

In a statement published Monday evening on the United Russia website, the secretary of the ruling party’s general council, Andrei Turchak, said the closure of operations was a “war” against Russian citizens.

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The statement mentions Finnish private food companies Fazer, Valio and Paulig as the latest to announce closures in Russia.

“United Russia proposes to nationalize the production plants of the companies announcing their exit and the closure of production in Russia during the special operation in Ukraine,” Turchak said.

“It’s an extreme measure, but we won’t tolerate being stabbed in the back and we will protect our people. This is a real war, not against Russia as a whole, but against our citizens,” he said. he declared.

“We will take severe retaliatory measures, acting in accordance with the laws of war,” Turchak said.

Paulig’s chief executive told Reuters in an email that this would not change his plans to withdraw from Russia. Fazer and Valio declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Fazer, which makes chocolate, bread and pastries, has three bakeries in St. Petersburg and one in Moscow, employing around 2,300 people.

Valio owns a cheese factory and employs 400 people in Russia, and Paulig owns a coffee roastery and employs 200 people in the country.

Last week, non-NATO member Finland, which shares a border with Russia, agreed to strengthen security ties with the United States as it nervously watches Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. .

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Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; additional reporting by Essi Lehto, editing by Ed Osmond, Kirsten Donovan and Lincoln Feast.

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