Even though the Russian search engine Yandex is not under western sanctions, the “Helsingin Sanomat” newspaper wrote on Thursday, September 22, that the Yandex data center in Mäntsälä was arrested.
According to the Finnish newspaper, the executive body of Finland in August froze the local assets of Yandex on the basis of the inclusion of its co-founder Arkady Volozh in the EU sanctions list. A subsidiary of Yandex is located in Finland, which is responsible for its data center in the city of Mäntsälä.
The data center in Myantsyala was built in 2014, the waste heat from it was used in the centralized heat supply of the city.
After the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, the Finnish “daughter” of Yandex changed its name from Yandex JSC to Global DC JSC. In June, Volozh, who fell under EU sanctions, left the post of CEO of the Yandex group and all other posts in the company, and also transferred the right to vote to the board of directors.
Even though Yandex itself is not under sanctions, Finnish authorities refer to the argument of the EU that the income from the activities of the company’s founder Volozh, included in the EU sanctions lists, is an important source for the Russian government.
Besides, the decision of the Finnish authorities, according to Helsingin Sanomat, was based on the fact that Volozh retains control over the local “daughter” of Yandex and over its income. They also claim that as Volozh is in a close to Putin circle, the arrest of his company’s assets may influence Putin through him.