The Ukrainian confectionary company Roshen, owned by the country's President Petro Poroshenko, is closing down its factory in Russia's Lipetsk region and pulling out of the neighbouring country altogether, the company said on January 20.
The factory will be shut down in April 2017 as it cannot be sold because of an ongoing criminal case against it.
"Since 2013, the output of the Lipetsk factory has declined by two thirds due to an ungrounded ban by Rospotrebnadzor [federal sanitary watchdog] on imports of Roshen Ukrainian products to the territory of the Russian Federation," Roshen said in a statement quoted by Vedomosti on January 20.
After the closure of the factory, 700 people will be made redundant, the report said.
Poroshenko's assets, including Roshen, were finally put in a blind trust in 2016 following his election as Ukraine's president in 2014, when he also promised to sell his Russian assets. In 2016, Russia's Slavyanka and United Confectionaries were reportedly interested in acquiring the Lipetsk factory.
Poroshenko controls more than 100 companies registered in Ukraine and in foreign jurisdictions, according to his electronic declaration of earnings and assets, filed to the country's new national system of income declaration in 2016.
However, his drawn-out compliance with his earlier pledge to divest himself of his assets is seen as a factor to his decline in popularity, together with his failure crack down on endemic corruption.
In 2015, Russia's investigative committee opened a probe into the Lipetsk factory over alleged grand embezzlement. According to investigators, Roshen in 2011 exaggerated the costs of the construction of the factory building for tax refund purposes.
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