Tuesday, May 30, 2023

These Famous Western Companies Are Working in Russia Despite the War


Many clothing brands and industrial companies continued to operate in Russia despite the war of aggression.

A large number of large international companies have abandoned their business in Russia. The mass flight of companies from the country began with the war of aggression launched by Russia in Ukraine in February 2022. The departure of many export companies from Russia is still going on.

The American Yale University maintains a list of international companies that have left Russia and that still continue to operate in the country. According to the listing, so far more than one thousand companies have closed their business in Russia.

On the other hand, many companies still continue their operations in Russia. For example, many German, French and Italian companies continue their business. The European Union has strongly condemned Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.

Many fashion companies, such as the Italian Benetton and Diesel, the German New Yorker and the French Lacoste, continue to operate in Russia. The New Yorker has also opened a new outlet in Moscow since the start of the War of Aggression.

In addition, for example, the French grocery store chain Auchan and the German healthcare companies Braun and Siemens Heathinners still operate in the country. For example, Auchan has justified the continuation of its business with a “humanitarian perspective”. According to the company, leaving would be unsettling for its Russian employees and customers.

Main photo of Moscow taken in April 2023.

Main photo of Moscow taken in April 2023. Photo: Natalia Kolesnikova / AFP

Not all American companies have left the Russian market. For example, clothing brand Guess operates in the country as before, and fashion brand Quiksilver still operates an online store. For example, Tupperware, known for its dishes, continues to do business in Russia.

Many well-known Japanese companies are still operating in Russia. For example, multinational industrial companies Makita, Kawasaki, Mitsubishi and Yamaha continue to do business in the country. Japan has condemned the Russian attack.

A large number of Chinese companies are operating in Russia as before the war. For example, online store Alibaba, airline Air China and Internet company Tencent, which owns Supercell, among others, will continue to operate in Russia as before. China has not directly condemned Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.

Instead, most Finnish companies have left Russia. According to the Export Managers Survey published last December by the Central Chamber of Commerce, only four percent of Finnish companies had business in Russia. There is no Finnish company in Yale’s listing. Along with the Finns, most companies from other Nordic countries have also left Russia.

Russia as a business environment has become more unpredictable. For example, in late April Fortum’s business operations in Russia were taken over by the state.

Read more: Russia acquires Fortum subsidiary, this is how Fortum responds: “Broken against international law”

Read more: Kremlin: There is no question of compensating Fortum

Furthermore, economic sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States make doing business in the country quite difficult. For example, a large number of Russian banks are excluded from the international SWIFT payment system.

On the other hand, moving out of Russia is also risky for companies. Russia has tried with its legislation to make it difficult for companies to leave the country. If the company publicly announces its intention to cease operations, it may be nationalized. In addition, the local management of the company may be held criminally liable if the company is preparing to cease operations.

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