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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

Friday, Dec. 19


Test your mastery of parlor games during Game Evening at the British Book Center. Learn how to play a variety of classic, mentally challenging games and use your newly acquired skills to crush weaker opponents. The event beings at 5 p.m.



Saturday, Dec. 20


The city’s Babushkina Park on Prospekt Obukhovskoy Oborony will be invaded by dozens of rocking-and-rolling Santa Clauses during today’s Santa Claus Parade. Not only will they parade through the park but there will also be competitions amongst the festively-clad participants and a musical master class. There will also be a prize for the best-dressed Santa Claus.


Stock up your record collection during the Vinyl Christmas Sale at the KL10TCH bar on Konyushennaya ploschad today. Spend the afternoon perusing the records for sale while listening the classic, clean sound of records spinning out hits from a variety of musical genres and time periods.



Sunday, Dec. 21


The Zenit St. Petersburg basketball team returns to the northern capital this evening for a matchup with Krasny Oktyabr, a Volgograd-based basketball club. Tickets for the game, which tips off at 6 p.m. this evening, can be purchased on the club’s website or at their arena, Sibur Arena, on Krestovsky island.


Satisfy your sugar cravings during Sweet New Year, an ongoing seasonal festival at the Raduga shopping center. Each weekend of December will welcome hungry visitors to taste hundreds of different kinds of desserts made from a plethora of sweet treats. Workshops are open to visitors and seasonal gifts can also be purchased for those rushing to finish their New Year shopping.



Monday, Dec. 22


Pick out the latest fashions as holiday gifts for loved ones or as early presents for yourself during the Christmas Design Sale at Kraft on Obvodny Kanal, starting on Dec. 20 and continuing through Dec. 27. Designer clothes will be on sale every day of the week or you can buy something more festive to decorate the home while sipping on hot coffee and perusing the various master classes.



Tuesday, Dec. 23


Meet Arctic explorers Fedor Konukhov and Viktor Simonov during SPIBA’s and Capital Legal Service’s event “Arctic Expedition” this morning in the Mertens House business center at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. The meeting will discuss the explorers’ ongoing eco-social project and how companies can use the project as a unique marketing opportunity. Email office@spiba.ru by Dec. 22 if you wish to attend.



Wednesday, Dec. 24


The Anglican Church of St. Petersburg we will be holding a Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. led by Rev Wm. Shepley Curtis of the Episcopal Church. The service will be held at the Swedish Church at 1/3 Malaya Konyushennaya Ulitsa.



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