The major Russian pork producer RusAgro has prepared a plan for the operation of its Belgorod assets in case of the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict, Alexander Tarasov, financial director of RusAgro, said during a conference call.
“We have detailed plans for what to do with our assets near the border if the situation worsens”, according to the Russian state news outlet Interfax. “For us, of course, the main thing is to ensure the safety of our people. Therefore, we are doing this very carefully.”
RusAgro runs 9 pig farms, a slaughterhouse and grain storage capacities in the Belgorod region. The company has not provided any additional information about its plan. No other agricultural companies operating pig farms in the region have disclosed the existence of similar plans.
A fairly significant part of the land bank falls on the Belgorod region, but the Belgorod region is large, not only bordering
Alexander Tarasov, financial director of RusAgro
Tarasov said that the company’s crop production could be impacted if the conflict escalates to Russian territory, even though not all RusAgro’s fields in the Belgorod region are at the same risk. “A fairly significant part of the land bank falls on the Belgorod region, but the Belgorod region is large, not only bordering.”
The Belgorod region accounts for roughly 20% of the Russian pork production. This is approximately 930,000 tonnes per year. It borders Ukraine’s Kharkiv region in the south. In November, Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of Belgorod Oblast, said that the region started building a defensive line on the border with Ukraine in preparation for an anticipated attack by Ukraine’s Armed Forces.
“I do not want to dramatise the situation. But we always consider several options: optimistic, pessimistic and moderate. I hope we willnot need pessimistic options, but we are actively considering them,” Gladkov said.
Over the past few months, Gladkov reported about constant shelling of several settlements of the Belgorod region, some of which entailed casualties among the local population. So far, there have been no reports of any damage to pig farms.
On the other hand, Ukrainian officials have repeatedly denied plans to attack Russian territory. During an interview for the German TV channel Tagesschau in January, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky assured that if Germany provides its heavy military equipment, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will use it exclusively to protect the Ukrainian territory.