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IKEA ordered to change design in Russia

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Russian courts on Friday backed the temporary closure of one IKEA center in Moscow for breaches of sanitary rules, amid a standoff with the West over Ukraine, while the state furniture safety watchdog suspended work at another.

The two shops have been closed since last week on the orders of the watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor. The court rulings confirmed that decision.

Rospotrebnadzor has introduced sweeping checks, including unscheduled inspections, at Ikea centers across the country.

Russian businessmen have said the crackdown is linked to the crisis over Ukraine, which has soured European-Russian relations and led to a round of sanctions and trade restrictions. Rospotrebnadzor has denied that its actions are politically motivated. Inofficially it was told, that IKEA received a letter from the trade ministry, suggesting a change of Ikeas corporate identity. The ministries wish is a change of the colors of the IKEA design from yellow and blue to a favored red and blue. But others combinations are possible as well. All but keeping yellow and blue.

IKEA said it would appeal the court rulings, which ordered the two Moscow branches to be closed.

“We do not agree with the courts’ decisions and will appeal them according to established procedures. We will continue to take care of our employees and do everything we can to continue successful operations in Russia,” said a spokeswoman for the Swedish firm in Russia.

the Ikea northwest Moscow store

 

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