The Russian consumer protection service is reportedly instructing Russian retailers to stop selling consumer products from Western companies such as Procter & Gamble, Henkel, Colgate-Palmolive and Clorox. The official reason given by the Russian consumer service is that there are lingering safety concerns related to the companies’ soap, cosmetics and other products, although it seems likely that the decision is politically motivated.
It is unclear what the immediate impact will be if Russian retailers begin to pull Western consumer products from shelves. Procter & Gamble, for one, currently controls a 40% of the Russian home-and-personal care market, and enjoys “more than half the market” share in other related categories. So far the companies’ have not issued a statement regarding the decision, although their stocks were down as of September 1.
Follow us on Twitter: @SteppeDispatch
- The Tajik Ministry of the Interior announced that it has detained 14 men in the Tajik city of Nurak for brandishing the flag of ISIL. The arrests were made following a ministry of interior investigation into the spread of extremist propaganda in the country. The Tajik government claims that 519 of its citizens have already traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight with ISIL.
- In an interview given to Russian and Chinese news agencies, Vladimir Putin stated that the Chinese government has pledged around $18 billion in investments into different oil and gas projects in Siberia and “far east” Russia. The projects include an oil refinery, a clinker plant and a metallurgical plant, according to Putin. China’s investment into the region is part of a larger investment program championed by Putin which includes the construction of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline.
- The cabinet of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk has defined Russia as a possible enemy for the first time in the history of Ukraine. The new doctrine outlines potential threats the country, or “aggressors,” and was recently submitted to the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council for consideration, according to Yatseniuk.
- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called for a “holy war” against corruption, according to media reports of a speech given by Ghani earlier today in Kabul. The Afghan leader decried the issue as a “cancerous lesion” in his speech and called for the government to bolster efforts to combat it. Ghani has in the year since he taken power been unable to contain the problem, which includes illegal land grabs and rampant graft in government contracts.
- Gazprom’s exports to “non-CIS” countries are up 22 percent in August, according to the Russian News Agency. The new figures published by Gazprom indicate that the company has exported 13.6 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey and the European Union, an increase on the August 2014 estimate of 11.3 bcm.