“Farmers are coming worried and in tears,” says Nail Suleimanov, owner of one of the largest shopping centers in Naberezhnye Chelny. The entrepreneur is positive that “all areas went kaput”.
Currently, being completely and entirely under the Russian censure control, Tatarstan Business-Online journal (Бизнес-Online) published some pretty bold comments by the republic’s richest person Nail Suleimanov, president of the Union of Markets and Trade Enterprises of the Republic of Tatarstan, the president of the Tullar Holding Company JSC.
On the impact of Russian aggression against Ukraine on business
Farmers show up, disturbed, and cry. I try to calm them down. Now everyone should rally. We just have no other choice. Of course, everything has gone up in price. My tenant farmers went to Moscow to buy some goods. Everything there is twice as expensive as it used to be. They are shocked.
Farmers will obviously arrange some foreign deliveries. They are concerned and uncertain about the logistics. Everyone hopes the situation will become clearer in a couple of weeks. New supply chains will be found, but it will definitely affect the prices.
Our life is divided into two parts: before and after. We actually expect that it will get worse. Everything will be more expensive, including cars, appliances, medicine.
What about the trade?
It will be difficult for us. We have loans, so we are really concerned about how the situation is going to unfold. If the Central Bank raised the key rate up to 20%, banks would do even more, but how to pay in such a situation? Tenant farmers will start leaving. Since there are no products, there will be no trade, as a result. The situation is very acute, because our economy largely depends on tenant farmers. Many people come to me in tears asking what to do. For the time being, I suggest them to wait and see. In one-two weeks, when emotions blow over, it will be possible to make decisions when you can think clearly and rationally.
I trust all areas went up in smoke. If the government helps, then primarily to the farmers. People need to be fed. A person can live without a car and vacations at Côte d’Azur, but not without food. It’s a serious issue as we have a lot of imported products. We need to urgently think about how to substitute them.
When it comes to my business, I still hope that we will survive for one simple reason: I originally supported my own producers from Tatarstan and Russia. There are our farmers at the eco-market. There are no chain stores in the shopping center. There are mostly former KAMAZ employees who lost their jobs during downsizing and found the job in a new area.
Nail Suleymanov himself did not condemn the Russian aggression against Ukraine and continues to express support for Putin and the government.
While the Tatarstan business makes its best to pay Moscow’s expenses for the invasion of Ukraine, the standard Bakhetle grocery set has risen in price by 25.5%. The prices for cabbage, sugar, chicken and pasta have significantly increased as compared to other groceries.