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Stora Enso to sell Russian sawmills, forest operations

The firm says it will sell two sawmills and its forest operations to local management.

Stora Enso is selling its sawmills in Russia. Image: Paulus Markkula / Yle

Finland-based forestry firm Stora Enso announced on Monday that it was offloading some of its Russian operations to local management.

The firm said that two sawmills in Karelia and Novgorod will be sold along with the Russian forest operations that supply wood to the mills, according to a company statement.

About 330 people are employed at those sawmills and an additional 170 workers in forest operations. The mills have an annual capacity of 350,000 cubic metres of sawn timber and the forest operations include harvesting rights of roughly 370,000 hectares.

The company said the deal is expected to be concluded during the second quarter. The company said the transaction will not have an impact on its annual revenue or operating profit.

The announcement comes at a time when the forestry giant — like other international firms — is unsure about its future in Russia.

"Stora Enso's assessment is that due to the uncertainties in the Russian market, local ownership and operation can provide a more sustainable long-term solution for these business operations and the employees working there," the statement read.

Stora Enso continues to hold three packaging plants in Russia, but production at the facility was halted following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The company said it is looking for a responsible solution for the future of these plants.

In early March, Stora Enso announced plans to suspend all production activities in Russia, as well as discontinue imports and exports to and from the country.