Russian entrepreneur Chernin stripped of residence permit

The Russian entrepreneur Sergey Chernin has been stripped of his residence permit and barred from entering Latvia. Chernin is the president of the GazEnergoStroy company, a Russian energy holding that consists of more than 40 companies. He is also the Chairman of the Commission of Public chamber of the Russian Federation on ecology and protection of natural assets.

Although the Ministry of Interior shied away from further explanation, Minister Rihards Kozlovskis stated that Chernin had done harm to the interests of Latvia. 

Interior Minister Kozlovskis also said that he had included Chernin in the so-called blacklist a year ago.

On June 17, GazEnergoStroy press service told rus.lsm.lv that "Chernin has been barred from entering Latvia. After that the shareholders have decided not to invest in this country, freeze the [existing] projects and sell all the projects."

Chernin had started his activities in Latvia six years ago, buying several dozen houses in the Saliena village. Later he had sold these houses to his business partners in Russia.

Afterwards, Chernin started three more projects, one of which, the "millionaire village" called Jurmala Lake Club and located in Babīte, was to start operating later this year.

In 2013 Chernin bought the bankrupt meat processing plant Triāls in the city of Valmiera. He announced plans for starting high-end processing with four innovative plants. However, last year the project was stopped, with Cherning citing trouble accessing EU funds among the main reasons for that. The planned start of the plant was postponed due to the mutual sanctions between Russia and the EU.

Chernin's family has historical ties with Latvia. In the 1920s, his grand-grandmother emigrated from Daugavpils to Russia. Perhaps that's the reason why Chernin was asked to participate in the "Worldwide Latvian forum", which was created with support from the Ministry of Economy. He attended a reception organized by President Andris Bērziņš.

According to the website of the real estate company Latio, the Valmiera meat processing plant is still on sale for 7,9 mln euro.

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