Italy startled by Putin's decision to temporarily transfer Ariston Russia to Gazprom

Italy summons Russian Ambassador to explain Putin's decision about Arison

The Italian Foreign Ministry summoned Russian Ambassador to Rome Alexei Paramonov after President Vladimir Putin transferred the Russian subsidiary of Italian equipment manufacturer Ariston to Gazprom. The decision was made in accordance with last year's decree, according to which the assets of foreign companies in Russia can be transferred to temporary administration.

Italy called the transfer unexpected and demanded clarification from the Russian diplomat.

On April 26, Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the transfer of Russian subsidiaries of Ariston and BSH Hausgerate (structures of Ariston Thermo Rus and BSH Household Appliances) to temporary administration of JSC Gazprom Household Systems. One hundred percent of shares in the authorised capital of both companies were transferred to  Gazprom temporarily.

A year ago, Putin signed a decree on retaliatory measures should the West decide to seize Russian assets abroad. Russia can thus introduce interim administration for the assets of unfriendly countries that remain on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Russia has already introduced temporary administration for assets of Germany's Uniper (Russian PJSC Unipro) and Finland's Fortum. The transfer of the assets of the Baltika brewing company, which was owned by Carlsberg (Denmark), ended with European and Russian beer giants filing counterclaims against each other. Litigations continue to this day.

Last July, Russian subsidiary of French dairy maker Danone also came under temporary management of the Federal Property Management Agency. Putin reversed the decision in March. Foreign and Russian media said that an agreement on the sale of tDanone Russia to Russian investors had been finalised.

Vladimir Putin stated that the transfer of foreign assets to temporary management was "not an act of misappropriation of property.” Russia remains friendly to foreign companies that want to continue operating in the country, he said.

Italian Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Tajani said that he had instructed the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to summon the Russian Ambassador to Italy.

Tajani also said that he contacted the embassy in Moscow after the decision on the transfer, calling this step unexpected.

"The Italian government is on the side of the companies and is ready to protect them in all international markets,” the minister added.

The temporary manager of Gazprom Household Systems JSC is a subsidiary of Gazprom, the largest Russian manufacturer of household gas and electric stoves, components for gas-using equipment, RIA Novosti said.

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Author`s name Pavel Morozov
Editor Dmitry Sudakov