| 17 July 2024, Wednesday |

Russian ex-president mocks Carlsberg after brewer says its business was stolen

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev mocked the Danish brewer Carlsberg (CARLb.CO) for believing it could leave Russia without facing consequences following Western sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

CEO of Carlsberg Jacob Aarup-Andersen stated on Tuesday that Russia had taken over the company after President Vladimir Putin gave the federal government temporary management of the company’s majority share in the Russian brewer Baltika in July.

Russia says the move does not change the ownership structure, but Carlsberg said it had cut ties with Baltika, scrapping all licence agreements, and would not enter a deal with Moscow that would make the seizure look legitimate.

Medvedev, once seen as a liberal reformer but now an arch-hawk as deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, mocked the brewer in a typically profane posting on Telegram.

“Like their brethren in the Western menagerie, they abandoned everything in Russia for political reasons …, refused to fulfil their obligations to Russian contractors.

“And they thought they’d be left alone,” he wrote. “‘We give you sanctions, and weapons to the Ukrainian regime, but don’t you touch our property, or at least let us sell it profitably’.”

The Danish group halted investments in Russia shortly after the invasion and has been trying to sell Baltika since last year, following in the footsteps of many other Western companies exiting Russia.

Carlsberg had eight breweries and about 8,400 employees in Russia, and took a 9.9 billion Danish crown ($1.4 billion) write-down on Baltika last year.

  • Reuters