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Russia goes head to head with EU as Putin makes grab for more EU businesses

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The Kremlin has announced the “temporary external management” of Russian subsidiaries belonging to Italian water heating company Ariston and German appliance maker BSH Hausgeraete.

This decision, revealed on Friday and backdated to Tuesday, has thrust Russia into a confrontation with Western Europe, particularly Italy and Germany, and has ignited concerns about Moscow’s intentions regarding European businesses.

The affected subsidiaries, Ariston Thermo Rus and BSH Household Appliances, now fall under the control of Gazprom’s Household Systems, effectively placing them entirely under Russian jurisdiction.

President Vladimir Putin signed the Executive Order, citing it as an urgent response to actions by the United States and other entities deemed unfriendly to Russia, which have allegedly infringed upon Russian property rights and ownership titles.

Ariston, caught off guard by the takeover, expressed its surprise, indicating it had received no prior warning.

Italy’s Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani has demanded clarification from the Kremlin, emphasising the need for transparency regarding the nationalisation of the Ariston Thermo Group.

Italy, alongside the European Union, has questioned the legality of Russia‘s actions and called for a reversal of the decision.

The EU condemned the move, stating that it further demonstrates Russia‘s disregard for international law and norms, particularly concerning legitimate economic activities.

This latest development comes in the wake of Russia‘s previous seizures of Western assets, including those of Germany’s Uniper and Austria’s OMV, under the guise of “temporary management”.

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