Sportmaster-Ukraine has been included in a list of sanctions imposed on Feb. 19 by the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council through a presidential decree notified to Sportmaster Operations Pte. the company based in Singapore that controls Sportmaster’s operations outside Russia. The sanctions have been levied against Sportmaster and 18 other legal entities and eight individuals, reportedly based on investigations into the financing of ”terrorism” in Crimea.
The decree orders a complete ban on trading operations, the transit of resources, flights, transportation across Ukraine and the importation of products. Besides, Sportmaster and the other companies are not allowed to withdraw capital from Ukraine.
Sportmaster Ukraine runs 30 sports stores in 15 Ukrainian cities with a total area of 50,000 square meters, which are visited by about 10 million people each year. Additionally, Sportmaster Ukraine has developed a chain of dealer and franchise stores comprising nearly 150 retail outlets with a total area of more than 16,000 square meters in more than 30 Ukrainian cities.
Ukraine’s National Security Service (SBU) told the local press that the sanctions against Sportmaster Operations have been introduced over information about the chain’s activities in the region of Crimea, which is occupied by Russia, Before the sanctions were imposed, the SBU sent a letter to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry last summer to complain about the illegality of the chain’s operations in the temporarily occupied territories. For its part, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs repeatedly sent the relevant notifications to agencies of the government of Singapore that were left without consideration or proper responses.
Sportmaster has stated that it considers Ukraine’s presidential decision to be groundless. Ludmila Knysh, Sportmaster(s general manager, wrote on her Facebook account that the company continues to work on the Ukrainian market, fulfilling its obligations and fully complying with local and international legislation.