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MOSCOW, March 20. /ITAR-TASS/. The accounts of the Ukrainian confectionery corporation Roshen in Russia have been arrested, Roshen spokeswoman Inna Petrenko said Thursday.
“Our accounts in Russia were arrested on March 14,” Petrenko told Itar-Tass.
She also said Roshen suspended production at its Russian plants in the central city of Lipetsk and its surrounding region, from March 19 for a week.
“The operation was suspended because yesterday representatives of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Main Department in Moscow conducted searches at our Lipetsk enterprises on the basis of a criminal case that we consider fabricated. It is impossible to manufacture products in such conditions,” she said.
Petrenko did not specify the reasons for the criminal case against her company.
The operation of the Roshen plant in Lipetsk was suspended on March 19, 2014, the Lipetsk information portal Gorod48 reported citing Roshen Lipetsk plant production department chief Olga Pershina. The portal reported that the entrance to the Roshen plant was blocked by a riot police truck and a police SUV.
Possible reasons for the law enforcers’ move included a lawsuit by Russia’s Uniconf (United Confectioners) holding company over a trademark issue and customs operation schemes between the Russian and Ukrainian production units of Roshen.
Roshen bought the shares of the Lipetsk confectionery plant in 2001. The plant produces sweets and cookies.
Roshen is controlled by structures of Ukrainian businessman Pyotr Poroshenko. Earlier Poroshenko told media he provided assistance to Euromaidan protesters in Kiev.
“Euromaidan” is the unofficial name for anti-government protests in Ukraine that started when the country’s authorities refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union at a Vilnius summit in November 2013 in favor of closer ties with Russia. The protests often turned violent and eventually led to a coup.
In late July 2013, Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor banned Roshen products’ supplies to Russia from Ukrainian factories over complaints regarding the products’ quality and safety. Talks between the Russian and Ukrainian authorities designed to return the Ukrainian sweets to Russia have been ongoing since then.