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IKEA Finally Opens in Ufa

A Russian IKEA store. IKEA's Mega shopping complex in Ufa had been slated to open three years ago. But problems with work permits and building regulations held up its launch. Vladimir Filonov

UFA — IKEA invested about 9 billion rubles ($310 million) in the construction of a multipurpose shopping complex in Ufa, Per Wendschlag, general director of IKEA Russia and CIS, said at a news conference held in conjunction with the opening of the new store.

"Company management is eager to work with local producers. The main issue is their readiness to do that. We will promote that process," Bashkortostan President Rustem Khamitov told journalists.

Mega Ufa was originally scheduled to open in fall 2008. IKEA's investment was expected to total 4.5 billion rubles.

But the project was halted after violations were uncovered in the way the Federal Migration Service issued work permits to foreign staff. In addition, local prosecutors claimed that the organizations overseeing construction of the complex were not complying with building regulations.

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