London-listed paper and packaging giant Mondi Group has helped Russia’s dairy industry survive sanctions.
Specifically, the firm helped Russian milk producers cope with the packaging crisis, The Telegraph writes.
A substitute for Tetra Pak selling its plant for six months
Russia’s problems arose when Swedish firm Tetra Pak, from which Russia sourced 7 out of 10 of its milk and juice cartons, was forced by Western sanctions to exit from the market.
Nevertheless, Mondi Group came to the rescue of the Russians and announced in June that it was planning to start production of packages to substitute Tetra Pak, the newspaper writes, citing documents from the Economic Security Council of Ukraine.
Russia’s deputy prime minister Victoria Abramchenko hailed the news and asserted that the country would have no problem with food packaging moving forward.
Interestingly, Mondi, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, had promised to leave the Russian market after the start of the full-scale war in Ukraine and even announced the sale of its Syktyvkar pulp and paper mill.
However, the deal to offload the company’s largest asset in Russia was only announced last month.
The Kremlin helped buy Mondi’s plant
Viktor Kharitonin, a Russian billionaire known for having built the multinational pharmaceutical business Pharmstandard with the former Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, has become the new owner of the Syktyvkar pulp and paper mill.
According to Klaus Peller, the head of Mondi's Russian operation, in June the assortment of the pulp and paper mill had not changed and its revenue had remained at the same level.
In the same month, Mondi funded the "We are Russia! We are together!" bicycle campaign.
In addition, as evidenced by the ESC’s data, the Kremlin has helped finance the billionaire’s purchase of the company's Russian assets. The deal was worth €1.5 billion. The document says that the price of Mondi SLPK slightly exceeds the total fortune of Kharitonin.
How Western firms aid Russia’s missiles and equipment
The ESC’s documents also reveal that 15 Western firms are still operating in Russia, in particular, by supplying equipment used by the Russian invaders in their war in Ukraine.
Thus, a network of Swiss firms is still providing semiconductors. They are used, among other things, to maintain Russian satellite navigation systems that direct missiles into Ukraine.
Meanwhile, a group of German companies produce communication equipment and spare parts for Russian military equipment, cooperating with sanctioned firms Rostec, Roskomos, and Almaz Antey.