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Vodka Distillery Gets New Director

Published: October 20, 2000 (Issue # 613)


MOSCOW - Trailed by riot police and a court bailiff, the man ruled the rightful director of Moscow's Kristall vodka distillery took control of the plant's head office and said the long ownership dispute had ended.

Alexander Romanov took over the office of the factory from his rival Vladimir Svirsky on Tuesday night.

"I consider the conflict resolved," Romanov said. "The activities of the previous management will be assessed by the competent bodies."

The dispute began in May when Kristall's board of directors elected Romanov general director. Some board members objected, and a Moscow court ruled in July that the appointment was invalid, naming Svir sky acting director.

Before the court ruling, Romanov only controlled Kristall's operational management. All production and 90 percent of sales were controlled by Svirsky.

But Romanov and his guards occupied the production line in August, while Svirsky was camped out in the head office. The court finally reversed itself Sept. 29, ruling that Romanov was, in fact, the rightful director.

Romanov claims that the previous management - for which Svirsky served as chief accountant - drove Kristall to the edge of bankruptcy. He said investigators were checking whether there had been criminal activity at Kristall.

Svirsky denied the accusations and rejected the latest court ruling, calling Romanov's move "outrageous."

Romanov wanted to take control of the territory of the factory prior to the meeting of Kristall's shareholders scheduled for Monday, Svirsky said. The plan for the meeting was to replace the representative of the Mos cow government with the representative of federal departments on the board of directors, he added.

The state owns 51 percent of Kristall's shares, which are being transferred to the newly registered state company Rosspirtprom, where all state-owned stakes in alcohol-producing enterprises are to be held. The remaining 49 percent of the shares in the factory belong to private companies, which include Soyuzplodimport, Tekhnogres and an off-shore company incorporated in Cyprus, as well as Kristall employees.

"This is a direct threat not only to the factory, but to the government," Svirsky's lawyer, Yakov Mastinsky, told reporters. Mastinsky accused Romanov's guards of blocking everything from going in or out of the distillery, including finished vodka, and said production was grinding to a halt.

Kristall is one of Russia's approximately 180 vodka distilleries, and among the most famous. It makes the Stolichnaya brand, which is exported all over the world, along with other, cheaper liquors that sell for the ruble equivalent of less than $2 a bottle.

- AP, Vedomosti





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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