Masandra winery in occupied Crimea sold to 'Putin's cashier'

The occupation authorities of Crimea have illegally sold Ukrainian Masandra winery to Russia’s LLC Yuzhny Proekt, 99.9% of shares in which belong to the Joint-Stock Bank Rossiya.

The main shareholder and former chairman of the board of directors of the Bank Rossiya is Yury Kovalchuk, named “cashier” of Russian President by the media.

“LLC Yuzhny Proekt, subsidiary of the Bank Rossiya, bought 100% of shares in the Crimean Masandra winery,” Ukrinform reports with reference to the Crimea.Realities portal.

As reported, RUB 5.327 billion was paid for the winery.

The second participant in the auction, LLC Estate Group offered a smaller sum – RUB 5.3 billion.

LLC Yuzhny Proekt is registered in St. Petersburg, Russia and is 99.9% owned by the Joint-Stock Bank Rossiya. In December 2017, this company already made an illegal purchase of a champagne factory in Sudak, Crimea, for RUB 1.5 billion.

The main shareholder and former chairman of the board of directors of the Bank Rossiya is Yury Kovalchuk, named “Putin’s cashier” by the media. After the occupation of Crimea, the U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on Kovalchuk. The Bank Rossiya, which currently operates on the peninsula, is also under sanctions.

As reported, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine condemned the planned “privatization” of the State Concern Masandra, calling on the international community not to participate in it and to refrain from any form of cooperation with the company.

The Ministry reminded that Masandra belongs to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine. The so-called “nationalization” of Masandra winery by the occupation administration of Crimea took place in 2014.

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