Russia puts assets controlled by Nobel-winning journalist under state management

FILE PHOTO: Novaya Gazeta newspaper's editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov attends an interview in Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has transferred publishing assets controlled by Nobel Prize-winning Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov to temporary state management, a presidential decree said on Monday.

Norwegian publisher Amedia left full control of its wholly owned Russian printing houses to Muratov, a veteran editor and co-laureate of the 2021 Nobel peace prize, in April 2022, saying that Russia's actions in Ukraine had made it impossible for Amedia to continue the printing business in Russia.

Putin has signed decrees taking temporary control of assets belonging to four Western companies in Russia so far this year, including putting the nephew of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov in charge of French yoghurt maker Danone's subsidiary in July.

Amedia's former assets in Russia still carry the company's name and the decree listed printing houses in five cities whose management had passed to the Federal Property Management Agency, Rosimushchestvo.

Muratov is trying to overturn his designation as a "foreign agent" by the authorities in Russia, Novaya Gazeta, the newspaper he edits, reported this month.

Novaya Gazeta previously used Amedia's printing houses, but the newspaper suspended publication in Russia in 2022 in response to legislation imposing harsh penalties for discrediting the Russian military's actions in Ukraine.

Many of its journalists have since regrouped with a new publication in Latvia.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Alexander Marrow and Christina Fincher)