Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has instructed his government to try to urge the U.S., the European Union and other foreign allies to impose similar economic sanctions as those that it has recently imposed on 27 persons and companies including Sportmaster Operations, the parent company of the Russian Sportmaster Group, regarding their operations in Crimea.
The Ukrainian government reportedly blames Sportmaster for continuing to do business in Crimea, although the company has never confirmed that it has any stores operating in the peninsula. It is possible that the Russian retailer or its Ukrainian subsidiary is taking online orders from customers in Crimea.
Reportedly, it has gone as far as charging Sportmaster and the other culprits of “terrorist” activity in the disputed area. Paying taxes to the regional government of Crimea has been considered by Ukrainian authorities as aiding terrorists.
The U.S. and the European Union have forbidden their companies and citizens from investing in Crimea, making it extremely risky for all international companies to do business on the territory, which is occupied by Russia. Based on their sanctions, some restrictive measures may also be imposed on any Russian company that is proved to be running operations in the peninsula.
On Feb. 3, Russia’s Economy Ministry rolled out legislation designed to boost investment in the annexed Crimea peninsula, granting anonymity to some investors to try to shield them from the threat of Western sanctions.