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KIEV, January 21. /TASS/. Ukraine’s prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation against Coca-Cola and PepsiCo after their representative offices in Russia published a map depicting Crimea as part of Russia, Ukrainian MP Georgy Logvinsky said on Thursday.
"On January 11, 2016 a criminal investigation was launched into the signs of crimes (abuse of power or office)," Logvinsky wrote on his Facebook page citing a response of the prosecutors to his request.
The checks are also underway into the suspected crimes, namely an attempt to violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and illegal use of trademark of goods and services, the company name and the qualified indication of origin of goods, he said.
The scandal flared up in Ukraine in early January when a Coca-Cola’s representative office published a map of Russia that included Crimea. Amid the public calls to boycott the product, the Ukrainian representative office apologized saying that Crimea had appeared on the Russian map without their knowledge.
The Russian representative office of PepsiCo also showed the Black Sea peninsula as part of Russia.
Authorities of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol organised a referendum on Crimean reunification with Russia in March 2014, with residents of the Black Sea peninsula voting overwhelmingly in support.
That same month, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement on Crimean accession to Russia, ratified three days later by Russia’s parliament.
Despite the referendum's convincing results, Kiev refuses to recognise Crimea as part of Russia.