Russia seizes ownership of former Ukrainian president’s chocolate factory – media

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The Russian plant belonged to Pyotr Poroshenko’s company Roshen, which has been under investigation for tax evasion for years

Shares in a candy factory previously owned by former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko have been transferred to the ownership of the Russian government following a court decision, RIA Novosti reported on Monday, citing the Federal Bailiff Service.

In February, a district court ruled in favor of nationalizing confectionary company Roshen, located in Lipetsk, western Russia. The firm has been under investigation for tax evasion for years.

The head of the bailiff service, Dmitry Aristov, confirmed the court’s latest decision to RIA, saying that “the shares of JSC Lipetsk Confectionery Factory Roshen were transferred” to the state.

In February, Oktyabrsky District Court in Lipetsk granted a request from a deputy prosecutor general to seize shares in Roshen in favor of the Russian state. According to the bailiffs, Roshen’s owners were financing the Armed Forces of Ukraine and supporting anti-Russian policies. Poroshenko and his son Aleksey were also banned from conducting any business activities on Russian soil.

The Roshen Corporation acquired the factory in Lipetsk in 2001. In 2014, production was suspended due to a criminal case when its local managing director was charged with “conspiring with unnamed others to use a registered trademark illegally to extract additional profits.” The factory later resumed production only to completely stop operating in 2017.

Poroshenko founded the Roshen group in 1996, and later pledged to sell his confectionery conglomerate if he won the presidential election. He was elected president of Ukraine in June 2014, but couldn’t find a buyer for the company. In January 2016, Poroshenko transferred his shares in the corporation to an independent blind trust.

Poroshenko, who oversaw Kiev’s military operation against Russian-speaking secessionists in Donbass, also faces charges of high treason at home over alleged secret coal dealings with representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics during his time in office.

In 2019, he lost out in his bid for reelection to Vladimir Zelensky, who campaigned on the promise that he would make peace in Donbass, only to reverse course and seek NATO support in Ukraine’s confrontation with Russia.

Poroshenko is currently the head of European Solidarity, a small opposition party with 27 seats in the 450-member national legislature, the Verkhovna Rada.

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