In the latest belligerent move by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, Russian authorities have seized the assets of a candy factory owned by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the Russian city of Lipetsk. The move is intended to block the sale of asset, according to parent company Roshen.
Since the March 2014 Russia annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, the Lipetsk plant has been raided by armed police, boycotted and accused by Russian politicians of supporting extremism. The moves are obvious scare tactics by Putin to put pressure on the Ukrainian leader.
“It is safe to say the Russian side is deliberately taking all possible steps to prevent the company selling its assets in Russia,” Roshen said in a statement. It said it would appeal the decision by a Russian court to seize the assets, which it valued at 2 billion rubles ($39 million).
Poroshenko, who is nicknamed the Chocolate King, promised when he was elected last May to sell Roshen, which takes its name from the middle two syllables of his surname and has annual sales of $1.2 billion.
The Russian invasion and resulting economic crisis have complicated the sales process and no deals have yet been announced.