1. Politicians in Crimea mull the future of Crimea Titan and Crimean Soda Plant

    6 May, 2014

    Crimea Titan and Crimean Soda Plant, companies belonging to Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtash, may halt their production in a month if no water appears in the North Crimean channel, said Edip Gafarov, presidium member of the State Council of Crimea, during a presidium meeting held by the Council.

    “We’ve visited the Crimean Soda and Crimea Titan plants; they have enough process water in their reservoir to last for about 30-35 days. After that, both plants could halt,” said Mr. Gafarov, as cited by Crimea Inform, a news agency. The water reservoir serving these chemical plants is replenished by the waters of the North Crimean channel, whose supply was shut off by the Ukrainian side.

    In the words of the acting head of the Crimean Republic Sergey Aksyonov, both plants still refuse to operate in the legislative environment of the RF. “There have been no contacts of any kind with the owners; communications are maintained with the senior management, and the First Deputy Prime Minister personally supervises these issues and keeps things under control regarding timely payment of salaries,” – said he, pointing out that all companies operating in the Crimean territory are bound to adapt to Russia’s legislative environment.

    “Towards anyone who won’t agree to pass under the Russian legal system we will take measures, including measures of the coercive nature. We advise everyone to do that voluntarily, to set up ruble-denominated bank accounts, to use only rubles in contracts with their business partners, to pay salaries in rubles,” stressed Mr. Aksyonov, adding to this: “If this is not done voluntarily, it will be done by force”.

    Crimea Titan, a plant in Armyansk, part of businessman Dmytro Firtash’s Group DF, is Europe’s largest producer of titanium dioxide, a chemical used in making paints and coatings, plastics, rubber, paper and other products.

    Crimean Soda Plant, Ukraine’s sole producer of commercial-grade sodium carbonate, meets 100% of demand for the product in Ukraine and 2% of the global demand. Back in 2011, Group DF transferred the plant’s shares to a couple of Cyprus-registered offshore companies, Dwara Trading Ltd. and Valika Ltd.

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