Business

More global brands join companies suspending Russia operations

From automotive to energy and textile sectors, many more firms continue to halt operations in Russia due to war

As Russia’s war on Ukraine is continuing amid attempts for peace, more global brands have joined major companies from different sectors suspending their operations in Russia.

It was only a few days after Russia started what it called a “special military operation” in its neighbor on Feb. 24 that various sectors in Russia, ranging from technology to automotive and energy, have announced suspensions.

Apart from sanctions, particularly those imposed by EU member states and the US, companies are trying to exert pressure on the Russian economy through their actions.

Some firms stopped their operations and deliveries in Russia, while others ended their investments or withdrew from their partnerships in Russia, even in Belarus.

Technology

The US-based technology giant Apple put a halt to product sales in Russia while limiting Apple Pay and other services in the country.

“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence,” it said.

Another US-based multinational software company Microsoft announced a suspension of all new products’ sales and services in Russia.

“Like the rest of the world, we are horrified, angered and saddened by the images and news coming from the war in Ukraine and condemn this unjustified, unprovoked and unlawful invasion by Russia,”Microsoft said.

YouTube also decided to block Russian state-run media outlets, Russia Today and Sputnik, while Google blocked their mobile applications from being downloaded.

Computer producer Dell Technologies suspended sales in Russia, while Oracle stopped its operations in the country.

South Korean technology giant Samsung halted shipments to Russia.

Japanese camera producers Nikon and Canon and electronics manufacturer Panasonic, as well as US software giant Adobe and processor manufacturers Intel and AMD were among many others which either halted sales and deliveries or suspended operations in Russia.

Food

Major Finnish food company Fazer announced it decided to end all its operations in Russia amid the war in Ukraine.

“We see no other solution than to exit Russia. Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an act of aggression which has tragic consequences across the region,” Fazer Group President and CEO Christoph Vitzthum said.

Danone, for which Russia represents 5% of its global market, suspended its investments in Russia and closed one of its two factories, but it maintains production and distribution.

American fast-food mainstay McDonald’s also announced that it was pulling out the Russian market and “temporarily” closing all restaurants.

“Our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine. Our number one priority from the start of this crisis has been – and will remain – our people,” McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said.

US-based multinational coffeehouse chain Starbucks Corporation also announced that it suspended all business activity in Russia, including all product shipments.

Joining them were American beverage giants PepsiCo and Coca-Cola Company as they suspended their production and selling operations in the country.

Yum Brands Inc, parent company of fried chicken chain KFC and Pizza Hut, paused investment and suspended operations at its restaurants in Russia, redirecting all profits from operations there to humanitarian efforts.

Social media – entertainment

The “unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis” prompted Disney to halt all film releases in Russia.

Netflix also ceased operations and postponed the production of four Russia-based series.

Chinese video-sharing social network TikTok also suspended its activities in the country.

“In light of Russia’s new ‘fake news’ law, we have no choice but to suspend livestreaming and new content to our video service while we review the safety implications of this law. Our in-app messaging service will not be affected,” TikTok said.

US video game developer Epic Games announced it stopped commerce with Russia as a response to the Ukraine war.

Universal Music Group, world’s largest record label, said it was suspending all operations in Russia as war rages on in Ukraine.

Video game developer EA suspended sales of its games and other content, including virtual currency bundles in Russia and Belarus.

Also, music streaming service Spotify closed its Russian office.

Finance

Global credit card providers Visa and MasterCard likewise suspended their operations and relations in the country.

Online payment platform PayPal suspended its services in Russia, citing the war in Ukraine.

US-based multinational payment card services company American Express suspended its operations both in Russia and Belarus.

Global accounting firms KPMG and PwC also announced suspension of their operations in Russia.

“We believe we have a responsibility, along with other global businesses, to respond to the Russian government’s ongoing military attack on Ukraine,” KPMG said.

Besides Russia, KPMG will also stop its activities in Belarus.

Consulting firms Deloitte and Ernst & Young announced they would no longer work with the Russian government.

Aviation

Boeing and Airbus, based in the US and Europe, respectively, ceased operations and exports to Russia.

Airbus said in a statement that it was also evaluating whether its technical center in Moscow would be able to serve local customers under Western sanctions.

US aerospace giant Boeing also announced it halted all purchases of Russian titanium.

Lufthansa Technik ceased operations in Russia, while AerCap, the world’s largest chartering company, severed ties with Russian airlines.

The European Space Agency also stopped its relations with Russia.

Due to the suspension, the agency’s ExoMars program will probably be postponed. The Rosalind Franklin spacecraft, built in the UK, was set to launch on a Russian rocket.

Automotive

Germany-based automotive giants Volkswagen and BMW halted local production activities in Russia.

BMW said: “We condemn the aggression against Ukraine and follow developments with great concern and dismay.”

Volkswagen, which also stopped exports to the country, stated: “Against the background of the Russian attack on Ukraine and the resulting consequences, the Group Board of Management of Volkswagen AG has decided to stop the production of vehicles in Russia until further notice.”

Audi, Seat, Scania, Skoda, Porsche, and Volkswagen are all part of the Volkswagen Group.

Toyota, a Japanese automaker, also halted its operations at the St. Petersburg until further notice.

Toyota’s St. Petersburg plant has been producing about 100,000 vehicles per year since it opened in 2007.

Honda Motor Co. of Japan suspended shipments of vehicles and motorcycles to Russia.

Daimler Truck, which manufactures armored vehicles for the Russian army, ceased all commercial operations in the country, including collaboration with Russia’s largest truck and bus manufacturer, Kamaz.

Other companies that announced suspensions in the country included Volvo of Sweden, Ford of the US, Mazda of Japan, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin of the UK.

Harley-Davidson likewise suspended operations and deliveries in Russia.

Car maker Nissan suspended exports to Russia and halt operations in the country. It also announced a €2.5 million ($2.75 million) fund to help the people of Ukraine.

Textile, retail trade

Mango, a Spanish textile retailer, temporarily suspended sales at 120 Russian stores and ceased exports to the country.

Sportswear giant Adidas halted its partnership with the Russian Football Union due to the war. The company also suspended its stores and website in the country.

The German apparel company has been the Russian national football team’s kit supplier for more than a decade since their partnership began in September 2008.

Puma and Nike, two major sportswear companies, also ceased operations and deliveries in Russia. Puma alone has 100 outlets in the country.

H&M, one of the largest textile retailers, suspended sales in the country, while Inditex, the owner of Zara, Bershka and Pull&Bear, stopped its services in Russia by closing its more than 500 stores.

IKEA, the Swedish furniture retailer, also halted operations in Russia and Belarus due to the Ukraine war.

Marks & Spencer stopped supplying goods to its franchise stores in Russia as of Saturday.

American multinational clothing company PVH Corp. announced that it was temporarily closing stores and pausing all commercial activities in Russia and Belarus as of Monday.

The company owns popular brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, in addition to licensing brands such as Kenneth Cole New York and Michael Kors.

Amazon Web Services announced that it was not accepting any new customers in Russia and Belarus.

British baby products retailer Mothercare suspended all its business in Russia.

Luxury textile producers Gucci, Hermes and Massimo Dutti, Spanish textile retailer Stradivarius, and UK fashion retailer Asos halted their operations.

Luxury watch maker Swatch Group, owner of Omega and Blancpain, also paused its retail operations in Russia.

Energy

The UK’s British Petroleum (BP) and Shell stopped their operations in Russia by halting their partnership activities with Russian firms.

Shell’s board of directors announced its plans to exit joint ventures with Gazprom and related entities.

“We are shocked by the loss of life in Ukraine, which we deplore, resulting from a senseless act of military aggression which threatens European security,” said Shell CEO Ben van Beurden.

Later, Shell announced it would phase out its involvement in all Russian hydrocarbons, including crude oil, petroleum products, and gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG), in line with the new government guidance.

BP announced that it would sell its stake in Rosneft, a Russian state-owned oil company, after coming under pressure from the government.

“Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an act of aggression which is having tragic consequences across the region,” BP Chairman Helge Lund said.

Norway’s energy giant Equinor agreed to begin exiting joint ventures in Russia and halt new investments in the country.

“We are all deeply troubled by the invasion of Ukraine, which represents a terrible setback for the world, and we are thinking of all those who are suffering because of the military action,” said Anders Opedal, Equinor’s president and CEO.

French Total Energies, the US-based ExxonMobil, Italian energy group Eni, Germany’s Siemens Energy, Singapore-based commodity firm Trafigura, and Switzerland’s Glencore all announced suspension of their activities or investments in Russia.

Industry

Sandvik, a Swedish engineering firm, ceased operations in Russia, while Atlas Group, a Swedish manufacturer of industrial vehicles and equipment, stopped deliveries.

Finland’s engineering group Metso Outotec also stopped deliveries in Russia.

Norsk Hydro, a Norwegian company operating in the aluminum and renewable energy sectors, said that it would no longer deal with Russian producers and would suspend its current agreements.

Siemens, a German-based industrial giant, likewise ceased supplies in the country but will continue local repair and maintenance services.

Cargo

The US-based FedEx and UPS paused deliveries to Russia due to the war.

The world’s largest container delivery firm Maersk also suspended all deliveries to and from Russia.

Deutsche Post stopped deliveries to Russia, and German shipping company Hapag Lloyd suspended reservations.

MSC, another container giant, likewise halted all load delivery operations, with the exception of humanitarian relief and medical supplies.

Source
AA

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