Kommersant stops publishing Ukrainian paper

Russia's Kommersant Publishing House has decided to stop publication of the newspaper Kommersant-Ukraine.

Russia's Kommersant Publishing House has decided to stop publication of the newspaper Kommersant-Ukraine.

"The reasons for the shutdown of Kommersant-Ukraine are financial. Most advertisers have cancelled contracts to place ads, with international groups also leaving," Kommersant PH president Vladimir Zhelonkin told Interfax on Thursday.

"A news bureau of the Kommersant newspaper will remain in Ukraine, but we are completely settling up with laid-off employees," he said.

Kommersant PH chief executive Pavel Filenkov told Interfax that the reasons for shutting down the paper in Ukraine were 90 percent economic.

"Our project was always loss-making. It had a certain trend toward reducing losses that made it possible to hope that in a while it would break even or better. But the recent events in Ukraine have lead to the fact that the advertising market has not only collapsed in the segment in which Kommersant worked, it has simply ended. In this situation we've gone back five-six years to the stage of the project launch, when there wasn't any advertising at all, but then we could at least hope that would appear, but now there's no chance of advertising appearing," Filenkov said.

Kommersant PH is now trying to find a possible way to continue operating in Ukraine.

"We will, of course, lose most of the journalism team, which numbers about 100 people. We plan to part with people completely properly, pay up without debts. We will try to be as proper and fair as possible," Filenkov said.

He said that "some kind of division of Kommersant that will play the role of a news bureau" will probably remain in Ukraine.

"I don't know yet what form this bureau will take, because political factors that exist there are already having an effect. We don't know to what extent the Russian language is allowed their now and so on. As this becomes clearer, we will determine what form our bureau will take, as well as the prospects for resuming the publication of Kommersant," Filenkov said.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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