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IKEA Store Fined Over Plant Quarantine Violation

MOSCOW — An IKEA store in the Volga city Samara has been fined for the sale of plants that had not undergone proper quarantine controls.

"Tests were conducted in connection with IKEA, and the results revealed violations of plant quarantine law," Viktor Trusov, the regional head of Russia's plant and animal inspection agency said Tuesday.

IKEA delivered more than 20,000 such plants to the store from Moscow and St. Petersburg without notifying plant inspectors of the shipments, Trukov said.

IKEA, which fired two senior managers in 2010 for violating its strict anti-bribery policy in Russia, has suffered a string of difficulties in opening stores in the country.

In 2009, the company lost $179 million over what it claimed were corrupt charges by Russian energy providers.

The 2011 opening of the Samara IKEA store was delayed eight times over the prior four years due to safety code violations, such as failing to construct the building to resist hurricane-force winds.

The company cast international light on the situation that year by threatening to cancel all further investment in Russia unless the Samara store was allowed to open.

The Samara IKEA was fined $1,900 in connection with the suspect plants.

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