Ukraine threatens to 'give a hard time' to Western companies in Crimea

Ukraine threatens to 'give a hard time' to Western companies in Crimea

Ukraine will resort to legal measures against retailers of German companies Adidas and Volkswagen operating in Crimea, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin said.

"Nowadays, there are companies that allow their retailers, for instance Adidas and Volkswagen, to view Crimea as part of Russia," Klimkin told a joint news conference with visiting German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

"We will give them a hard time with the help of both political and legal means," TASS cited Klimkin as saying.

Ukraine's Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) accused Nissan, Toyota, Peugeot, Mitsubishi, Kia Motors, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Skoda, Isuzu, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), Renault, Lexus of operating in Crimea.

In late December 2017, Ukraine’s Security Service was reported to be planning checks into operation of some German companies in Crimea. Among them are DHL Express, Adidas and Puma.

On 16 March 2014, more than 82% of Crimea’s electorate took part in the referendum, when 96.77% in the Republic of Crimea and 95.6% in the Black Sea naval port of Sevastopol backed splitting from Ukraine and spoke in favor of reuniting with Russia. On March 18, President Vladimir Putin signed the treaty on Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Russia’s Federal Assembly approved the document on March 21.

Ukraine refused to recognize the referendum was legitimate. In July 2014, the European Union and the US imposed sanctions against Crimea and Russia and have repeatedly extended and expanded them.

According to the sanctions, Europeans and EU-based companies can no longer acquire any new or extend any existing participation in ownership of real estate located in Crimea or Sevastopol, provide new investment and related activities, grant any loan, credit or provide financing, create any joint venture, provide services directly related to tourism activities, in particular cruise ship services.

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