Russia proposes nationalising foreign-owned factories that shut operations

Russia proposes nationalising foreign-owned factories that shut operations

Ukrainian refugees rest in the regional assistance centre at the Prague Congress Centre on Monday in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo: AFP)
Ukrainian refugees rest in the regional assistance centre at the Prague Congress Centre on Monday in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo: AFP)

COPENHAGEN: A senior member of Russia's ruling party has proposed nationalising foreign-owned factories that shut down operations in the country over what the Kremlin calls a special military operation in Ukraine.

Several foreign companies including Toyota, Nike and home furnishings retailer IKEA have announced temporary shutdowns of stores and factories in Russia in order to put pressure on the Kremlin to stop its invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

In a statement published on Monday evening on the United Russia website, the secretary of the ruling party's general council Andrei Turchak said that shutting operations was a "war" against the citizens of Russia.

The statement mentioned Finnish privately-owned food companies Fazer, Valio and Paulig as the latest to announce closures in Russia.

"United Russia proposes nationalising production plants of the companies that announce their exit and the closure of production in Russia during the special operation in Ukraine," Turchak said.

"This is an extreme measure, but we will not 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.

"We will take tough retaliatory measures, acting in accordance with the laws of war," Turchak said.

Fazer and Valio did not wish to comment when contacted by Reuters. Paulig did not respond.

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

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

Last week, 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. Finland is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato).


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