Speaking to RTL, Patrick Santer, vice-president of the Council of State, said he had resigned from the board of Sodrugestvo, a Russian agribusiness giant whose European headquarters have been in Luxembourg since 2012. “I want to avoid the group receiving publicity it does not deserve,” said Santer.
The turnover of the company, which specialises in animal feed and was founded in 1994, is estimated at over$ 2bn. The company employs just over 1,400 people in a dozen countries, including Ukraine.
The Russian company is not directly linked to the offensive in Ukraine. It is active in three vertically integrated sectors: infrastructure management (port and railways, in particular) for the transit and storage of agricultural products, logistics (wagons and warehouses) and the processing of plant and animal raw materials into oils used in the basic composition of animal feed.
This resignation comes a few days after the stepping down of former economy ministers Etienne Schneider and Jeannot Krecké from the boards of directors of Sistema and East West United Bank respectively.
Schneider (LSAP) faced criticism over his seat on the board of Sistema after a series of former ministers from EU countries stepped down from Russian companies. After initially defending his mandate, Schneider resigned on Sunday together with Krecké (LSAP).
Meanwhile, Mikhail Fridman, founder of Luxembourg-headquartered investment company Letterone, and Petr Aven, a member of the group’s board of directors, were sanctioned by the EU earlier this week and have since lost control of the company.
Fridman who has announced his intention to fight the ruling is described by the EU as “a top Russian financier and enabler of Putin’s inner circle” by the sanction documents.
Luxembourg is also rethinking its diplomatic ties with Russia and has terminated Valery Gergiev’s mandate as honorary consul effective immediately.
The mandates of three other honorary consuls--Russian billionaires Yevtushenkov, Viktor Rashnikov and Roman Trotsenko are also up for review, foreign minister Jean Asselborn (LSAP) said on Tuesday.
This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano. Additional reporting done by Delano.