Baltika takes Carlsberg to court in latest in long-running Russia row

'Probably' the world's best lager engaged in the world's worst fallout
'Probably' the world's best lager engaged in the world's worst fallout Copyright AP/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews
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The fallout began last July after President Putin ordered the "temporary" takeover of Carlsberg which then ended its licensing agreement with Baltika.

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Russia's Baltika Breweries is taking four Carlsberg subsidiaries to court claiming damages to the value of 6.24 billon Danish Krone (€837 million), according to Reuters.

Details were revealed in court filings in St Petersburg which cited Carlsberg Sverige, Carlsberg Deutschland, Carlsberg Breweries and Russian subsidiary Hoppy Union as defendants, the news agency said.

The fallout between the two parties began last July when Moscow took over Carlsberg's stake in Baltika under the orders of President Putin and following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Sanctions against Russia were put in place by the EU and other countries around the world, including the US and the UK.

The takeover was described as "temporary management" but Carlsberg Group CEO Jacob Aarup-Andersen disagreed, saying the company's business had been "stolen".

No sign of a resolution any time soon

Carlsberg has since said it would take all possible action to protect employees, assets and operations in Russia.

Baltika and Carlsberg are locked in a dispute over licensing, with Carlsberg telling Baltika it was ending a joint agreement which meant Baltika could no longer produce, market or sell any Carlsberg Group products.

In response, Baltika took legal action against Carlsberg and a court in St Petersburg last December found in support of Baltika, saying Carlsberg's unilateral waivers of licences to produce and sell certain brands of beer were "invalidated", Interfax news agency reported at the time.

Carlsberg retaliated by using a unit in Kazakhstan to file an appeal last month against a ban from selling the Baltika beer brand in some international markets.

Neither Carlsberg nor Baltika have commented on the latest reports.

Carlsberg is not the only European company to have fallen foul of Russian rules recently. Russia has also taken control of a subsidiary of French yoghurt maker Danone which was still present in the country following the invasion of Ukraine.

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