Local Offices of Finland's Valio Searched by St. Petersburg Police
Published: August 20, 2014 (Issue # 1825)
Police have searched the offices of Finnish dairy company Valio, one of the European companies struck hardest by a Russian ban on food imports introduced last week in retaliation to Western sanctions, Interfax reported Aug. 12, citing a source in the police department.
The searches of Valio’s offices on Primorsky Prospekt and Sofiyskaya Ulitsa in St. Petersburg “are taking place in the context of an ongoing criminal investigation,” the source said.
The Russian government earlier this month sunk trade worth about $9 billion by banning imports of fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat products and fish from the European Union and other countries with sanctions against Russia over its policy in Ukraine.
The embargo has hit Valio hard. The company produces about 85 percent of the Finnish exports struck by Russia’s import bans, a company spokesman told Reuters.
Valio halted all production in Finland destined for the Russian market after the announcement of the sanctions, and on Aug. 11 announced that 800 employees in its export branch may have to go on forced leave, while some temporary contracts will not be extended.
However, the company said operations at its two facilities in Russia, where it produces cream cheese spreads, will continue. Valio also supplies non-dairy products to the Russian market, including juice and water.