Svetofor, a fast-growing Russian discount supermarket chain, plans to open 40 stores in Ukraine in the second half of this year

, Artem Khomenko, Ukraine director for Mere, the Svetofor brand, told reporters. The first store is to open this week in Mykolaiv. To cut costs, the Mere places its products on pallets, rather then shelves. It claims to spend an average of $18,000 to open each store, 1% the amount spent by ATB, Ukraine’s largest supermarket chain. Alexei Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, vowed yesterday to block the Russian chain, asking reporters: “The emergence of a