Russia appoints Chechen agricultural minister to lead seized Danone plant

On the Russia-based professional information platform, Yakub Zakriev is named as the firm’s general director.

He is the Agriculture Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian republic of Chechnya.

The Russian businesses of Danone and beer giant Carlsberg were placed under “temporary management” of the state on Sunday.

This year, President Vladimir Putin implemented new legislation that allow Moscow to confiscate the assets of enterprises from “unfriendly” countries.

Following the invasion of Ukraine, many large Western corporations ceased operations in Russia.

Danone and Carlsberg were in the midst of selling their Russian operations before being taken over by the state.

With over 8,000 employees, Danone’s Russian branch is the country’s largest dairy company.

The sale of the business was anticipated to cost the French company €1 billion ($1.1 billion; £861.7 million).

Mr Zakriev is said to be the nephew of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a close friend of President Putin.

He was named CEO of Danone Russia on Tuesday, according to Russian media agencies.

According to the Financial Times, Taimuraz Bolloev was named director of Carlsberg’s Russian affiliate Baltika Breweries.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesperson, did not immediately respond to a BBC request for comment.

On Sunday, Mr Putin signed an order transferring management of Danone Russia and Carlsberg’s Baltika Breweries to the Russian property agency Rosimushchestvo.

Danone claimed in October that it was “investigating the situation” after starting the process to sell its Russian business.

Carlsberg stated last month that it had reached an agreement to sell Baltika Breweries but had not yet finalised the transaction.

According to the Danish brewer, “the prospects for this sales process are now highly uncertain.”

According to Carlsberg’s website, Carlsberg subsidiary Baltika employs 8,400 people across eight plants and manufactures some of Russia’s most recognizable beer brands.

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