[12 February/NZ Herald]

Fonterra has attempted to expand its Russian business, only months after the new government committed to reopening free trade talks that had not been on the table since the Crimean crisis. The deal will see Fonterra take a 49 percent stake in a St Petersberg based join venture with Foodline, its primary distributor in the Russian Federation. A Fonterra spokesperson said that ‘we have kept the New Zealand government informed of this investment.’ The moves by Fonterra signal a course of correction in trade policy with Russia. Fonterra and MFAT denied that the news was kept secret, and explained that the size of the investment was quite small and not considered material. The Herald understands Fonterra have committed around $30 million to the deal.