Police are searching the offices of Finnish dairy company Valio, one of the European companies struck hardest by a Russian ban on food imports introduced last week in retaliation to Western sanctions, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing a source in the police department.
The searches of Valio's offices on Primorsky Prospekt and Sofiyskaya Ulitsa in St. Petersburg "are happening in the context of an ongoing criminal case," the source said.
The Russian government last week sunk trade worth about $9 billion by banning imports of fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat products and fish from the European Union and other countries with sanctions against Russia over its policy in Ukraine.
The embargo has hit Valio hard. The company produces about 85 percent of the Finnish exports struck by Russia's import bans, a company spokesman told Reuters.
Valio halted all production in Finland destined for the Russian market last week, and on Monday announced that 800 employees in its export branch may have to go on forced leave, while some temporary contracts will not be extended.
However, the company said operations at its two facilities in Russia, where it produces cream cheese spreads, will continue. Valio also supplies non-dairy products to the Russian market, including juice, kissel and water.