These Are the Companies Taking Stands Against Russia, More Expected to Follow

Published May 24th, 2022 - 08:00 GMT
These Are the Companies Taking Stands Against Russia, More Expected to Follow
Many multinational companies from different sectors decided that it's too risky to remain operating in Russia not only for financial reasons, but for reputational ones too. (Shutterstock)

While Russia is invading Ukraine, the number of international companies exiting Russia has been on the rise. 

As Russia faces severe sanctions imposed by western governments, countries closing their airspace to its aircrafts and lock some of its banks out of the SWIFT money messaging system, many multinational companies from different sectors decided that it's too risky to remain operating in Russia not only for financial reasons, but for reputational ones too.

And here are the list of companies who have announced their stand against Russia so far:

1. BP Plc.

London-based oil giant, BP Plc, announced that it will sell its $14 billion (19.75% voting stake) stake in Russian state oil firm Rosneft after facing pressure from the UK government. It is unclear who BP would sell it to.

2. Shell Plc.

The British multinational oil and gas company, Shell Plc., followed BP's lead by announcing on Monday that it will be ending partnerships with Russian state-controlled Gazprom, including the Sakhalin-II liquefied natural gas facility and its involvement in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

On March 5, Shell pledged to put any profits it makes from the purchase of Russian oil into a special fund to assist Ukrainians after receiving intense backlash for buying a Russian oil shipment. 

On March 8, Shell has announced plans to withdraw from Russian oil and gas and close all its service stations in the country.

Source: Twitter

3. Equinor ASA

Norway’s biggest energy company,  Equinor ASA, has announced that it will start withdrawing from its joint ventures in Russia, worth about $1.2 billion.

4. Government Pension Fund of Norway

The world's largest sovereign wealth fund said it is freezing Russian assets worth about $2.8 billion and will announce a plan to exit by March 15.  

5. Baker McKenzie

The Chicago-headquartered law firm has announced that it will cut off ties with several Russian clients as their way of complying with sanctions. The law firm also said Monday that it was reviewing its operations in Russia.

6. Linklaters

The London-based law firm announced in a statement that it is "reviewing all of the firm’s Russia-related work."

7. McKinsey & Co.

The management consultancy's global managing partner Bob Sternfels condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and declare that the firm will no longer do business with any government entity in Russia. However, the firm won't be closing Moscow's office.

Companies Bob Sternfels
Source: LinkedIn

8. Daimler Truck Holding AG

One of leaders among commercial vehicle manufacturers, Daimler Truck Holding AG, said it will stop its business activities in Russia until further notice, and is considering reviewing ties with Russian joint venture partner Kamaz PJSC. 

9. Volvo Car AB and Volvo AB

The Swedish vehicle manufacturer announced halting sales and production in Russia.

10. Harley-Davidson Inc. 

The American motorcycle manufacturer announced in a statement the suspension of its business in Russia.

11. General Motors Co.

America's largest automobile manufacturer said it was halting shipments to Russia, citing "a number of external factors, including supply chain issues and other matters beyond the company’s control."

12. Maersk

The Danish shipping company and which is considered the the world's largest container shipping line announced suspending deliveries to and from Russia.

13. ExxonMobil

U.S. oil giant Exxon Mobil said on Tuesday (March 2) it will wind down its operations at a major liquefied natural gas export facility in eastern Russia and halt any new investments in the country.

14. Boeing

The U.S. jet maker issued a brief statement on Tuesday (March 2) announcing that it has temporarily suspended major operations in Russia, including at its Moscow Design Center where it employs more than 1,000 engineers. In addition, Boeing is also suspending parts, maintenance and technical support services for Russian airlines.

15. Roku

The streaming company announced on Tuesday (March 2) that it will no longer offer the Russian state-controlled television network RT among its channels.

16. Nike

The sports giant said on its Russian website that it was halting online sales of its products in Russia because it “cannot guarantee delivery of goods to customers.”

17. Ford

The Dearborn automaker announced on Tuesday (March 2) the suspension of its Russian joint venture operation "until further notice."

18. Apple

The iPhone maker announced on Tuesday (March 2) it halted product sales in Russia, restricted apps for RT at Sputnik so they can only be downloaded in the country and disabled the traffic feature within Apple Maps in Ukraine "as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens."

19. Snap

Snapchat's parent company announced on Tuesday (March 2) that it is halting ad sales to Russian and Belarusian media buyers, and that it has stopped running ads in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. In addition, the company has pledged $15 million to organizations helping those in Ukraine.

20. BMW

 The German carmaker said on Tuesday (March 2) that it had halted the export of cars to Russia and would stop production on the ground there.

21. Meta

Content by Russian state media are no longer being recommended to users by Facebook’s algorithm, and soon Instagram. And earlier this week, the firm restricted access to Russian state media accounts in Ukraine, blocked Russian state media from running ads and earning money from their accounts on the platform and said it took down posts related to a disinformation campaign targeting Ukraine.

22. DirectTV

The largest satellite provider in the United States announced on Tuesday (March 2) that it plans to drop RT America from its lineup in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a spokesperson said.

23. Adidas

The German sports company announced on Tuesday (March 2) that it is immediately suspending its partnership with the Russian Football Union, joining FIFA and UEFA in censuring Russia.

On March 8, Adidas announced the suspension of its operations in Russia (stores and online stores) until further notice but continue to pay its employees there.

24. YouTube

YouTube joined the tech platforms on Tuesday (March 2) in blocking online access to Russian state-controlled media channels RT and Sputnik for its users in Europe after pressure from European officials. YouTube's move comes after it temporarily demonetized RT and other channels Saturday and prevented it from earning money through ads on its videos, and limited access to these channels in Ukraine.

25. Mastercard, Visa and American Express

US credit card giants said they were blocking Russian banks from their payment networks following international sanctions in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. 

On Saturday (March 6), Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. announced suspending their operations in Russia.

26. The Walt Disney Company

The entertainment giant announced on Monday (February 28) it is halting its release of theatrical films in Russia, including its anticipated Pixar film Turning Red.

27. Twitter

Twitter announced on Monday (February 28) that it would label tweets that share information from Russian state media accounts. This comes after it decided to temporarily suspending ads in Ukraine and Russia "to ensure critical public safety information is elevated and ads don’t detract from it."

28. Airbnb

The home rental platform announced on Monday (February 28) that it will offer free, temporary housing for up to 100,000 refugees from Ukraine, which will be paid for by the company and through donations. 

On March 4th, Airbnb announced suspending all operations in Russia and Belarus, and also stopped users of the home rental site from both countries from making any bookings.

29. Etsy

The craft-oriented marketplace announced on Monday (February 28) that it is canceling all outstanding fees for Ukraine-based sellers. The move is worth about $4 million and is meant to offset "tremendous financial hardship" for creators affected by the conflict. 

30. Siemens Energy

The German energy company announced on Wednesday (March 2) that it is stopping all new business in Russia. The announcement follows its parent's announcement, Siemens, that announced on Tuesday (March 1) it had also stopped all new business with, and international deliveries to, Russia.

31. Netflix

The most popular streamer has paused all future Russian projects and acquisitions.

On March 6, Netflix made the decision to suspend its service in Russia.

32. Ikea

The Swedish conglomerate has announced suspending Russia, Belarus operations, affecting 15,000 employees.

33. Volkswagen

German car giant Volkswagen announces decision to "stop production of vehicles" in Russia until further notice, adds exports to Russia will also be stopped with immediate effect.

34. Samsung

The South Korean tech giant has suspended product shipments to Russia due to current geopolitical developments.

35. Iditex

The Spanish fashion retailer Inditex, which owns Zara, has halted trading in Russia, closing its 502 shops and stopping online sales.

36. H&M Group

Clothing company H&M Group, which has 168 stores in Russia, announced on Wednesday (March 2) that it has decided to temporarily close up shop in Russia.

37. PayPal

The payments company announced on Saturday (March 5) shutting down its services in Russia, citing “the current circumstances”.

38. KPMG

The auditing and consultancy giant said its Russia and Belarus company will leave the KPMG network, affecting more than 4,500 partners and staff in both countries.

39. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC)

After operating in Russia for more than 30 years, PwC agreed PwC Russia will leave its network affecting 3,700 partners and staff there.

40. EY

EY was the third global accountancy giant to announce cutting off businesses in Russia and Belarus.

41. McDonald's

Fast-food giant McDonald’s announced temporarily suspending operations at its 850 locations in Russia.

On May 16, the Associated Press has reported that McDonald's will sell its Russian business, seek to have buyer keep its 62,000 workers.

42. Coca-Cola

On March 8, the Coca-Cola company announced suspending its business in Russia.

43. Pepsi

Following Coca-Cola's lead, the soft-drink and snack maker, announced suspending all advertising in Russia and stopping the sale of its drinks brands.

44. Starbucks

Starbucks announced suspending all business activity in Russia, including shipment of its products and cafes run by a licensee.

The company said that Kuwait-based Alshaya Group, which operates at least 100 Starbucks cafes, would still support its nearly 2,000 staff in Russia "who depend on Starbucks for their livelihood".

On Monday May 23, Starbucks announced that it will no longer have a brand presence in Russia, closing its 130 locations in the country, which account for less than 1% of the company’s annual revenue.

The coffee giant also said that it will pay its nearly 2,000 Russian workers for six months and help them transition to new opportunities outside of the coffee chain.

45. Sony Playstation

On March 10, Sony announced it was hitting pause on all software and hardware sales for the PlayStation in Russia. "Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) joins the global community in calling for peace in Ukraine,” it tweeted.

46. Nintendo

On March 11, Nintendo told Reuters it was suspending sales in Russia “for the foreseeable future," after it already began stopping payments through the company's eShop in the country. 

On the other side, some companies announced exiting Ukraine and not Russia because of concerns over safety. For example, Coca-Cola's European bottling partner, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company has closed its operations in Ukraine. 

47. Heineken

Dutch brewing giant Heineken announced on March 28 it has decided to exit its business in Russia, after previously saying it would halt new investments and exports there, anticipating a charge of 400 million euros. The company also said it would guarantee the salaries of its 1,800 employees to the end of this year.

48. Ericsson

Ericsson AB announced on April 11the suspension of its business with customers in Russia “indefinitely,” extending a halt from February that was originally billed as temporary, following sanctions imposed as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The company also stated that roughly 600 staff in Russia will be placed on paid leave.

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