Russia’s X5 Retail Group is selling off its business in Ukraine in a worrying signal of deteriorating economic ties between the two countries.
According to the RBC Daily newspaper, Perekrestok, one of the store brands of X5, has offered the lease rights, along with the equipment and the remaining inventory to the Ukrainian retailer Varus.
Part of the Top 10 industry leaders, Donetsk-headquartered Varus expects to replace signage within a couple of months, said Ruslan Shostak, the co-owner of Varus.
The businessman did not disclose the price of the contract and X5 was not immediately available for comment.
Perekrestok was the last retailer that remained on the Ukrainian market.
The deal heralds the possible exodus of many Russian companies that will be forced to sell off their operations in Ukraine due to the increasingly sour ties between Kiev and Moscow.
The spat over Crimea has prompted the Western leaders to cool their relations with Russian, imposing a travel ban and asset freezes against a narrow group of Russian officials.
In the latest move, Japan has introduced sanctions against Moscow in an attempt to further isolate the country.
According to the statement by Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Tokio regrets Moscow’s decision to recognize the independence of Crimea.
Japan will suspend consultations on easing the visa regime and talks on three treaties that would have expanded bilateral cooperation in investment, space exploration and defense.
Earlier, the US and the EU imposed a raft of sanctions on individuals, including seven Russian government officials — presidential aide Vladislav Surkov, presidential advisor Sergey Glazyev, head of State Duma’s CIS committee Leonid Slutsky, head of the Federation Council’s Constitutional Legislation committee Andrey Klishas, speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, vice-premier Dmitry Rogozin and head of State Duma’s committee for the affairs of family, women and children Yelena Mizulina.
Author: Mikhail Vesely