Arrests in Russia as Carlsberg Executives Accused Following State Takeover
Carlsberg’s Russian subsidiary, Baltika Breweries, witnessed the arrest of Denis Sherstennikov and Anton Rogachev, top executives, after the Russian government assumed control of the beer company in the country. The arrests, which took place on Wednesday, follow Carlsberg’s termination of its business in Russia last month due to the state’s takeover of Baltika in July. The detained executives are facing fraud allegations, but Carlsberg has dismissed the charges as fake.
Carlsberg expressed dismay at the Russian state’s efforts to justify the illegal takeover and criticised the targeting of innocent employees. The safety of its staff, including those in Russia, remains a top priority, and the company has pledged to support its employees during these challenging circumstances.
Last month, Carlsberg’s CEO, Jacob Aarup-Andersen, accused the Kremlin of “stealing our business in Russia.” The Danish brewer had been in the process of selling Baltika Breweries as it sought to exit the Russian market before the government seized control.
Following the arrests, Carlsberg emphasised that Baltika had operated lawfully until the Russian state introduced external management. The company clarified that the individuals in question acquired intellectual property rights through alleged deception, a claim Carlsberg refutes.
Investigators allege that Sherstennikov and Rogachev obtained intellectual property rights for Carlsberg Kazakhstan and Vista BWay Co., formerly owned by Baltika, “through deception.” The rights, estimated at over £2.65 million, allegedly enabled Baltika to supply products to several countries. Baltika, a major beer producer in Russia with recognisable brands, had 8,400 employees across eight plants.
Carlsberg’s decision to sell its Russian business faced complications when the Kremlin took control of Baltika in July under an order signed by President Vladimir Putin. New rules allowing Moscow to seize the assets of firms from “unfriendly” countries were introduced earlier this year. Carlsberg terminated all licence agreements in October, refusing to engage in a deal that would justify the Russian government’s illegal takeover.