Calls to boycott Coca-Cola as it continues to operate inside Russia despite Putin's invasion


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Calls are growing for people to boycott Coca-Cola as they have yet to pull operations out of Russia despite Putin’s invasion of Ukraine entering its twelfth day.

Trends on Twitter including #BoycottCocaCola surfaced over the weekend as it emerged the company, which has 10 bottling plants in Russia, is not making any changes to operations following the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden was among the virtual hoard of social media users calling for people to boycott the global drinks giant over its inaction. 

The distribution company in Russia told Tass – a Russian news agency – that operations were continuing as normal but Coca-Cola has remained silent on the issue. 

Three Ukrainian supermarket chains have since announced they are removing Coca-Cola products from their shelves and the company is coming under increased pressure to sever ties with Russia. 

Since Moscow ordered forces to invade Ukraine, a number of international brands, including tech firms and fashion labels, have ceased trading in Russia amid a ‘Great Cancellation’ of Vladimir Putin.

This includes firms such as Samsung, PayPal, Mastercard and Visa as well as high street brands such as Zara, Under Armour and Ikea which have all sought to take a stand against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In total more than £100 billion of trade ties have already been severed with the increasingly isolated nation, with no sign the ever-largening embargo is set to lose momentum. 

High profile Russians, including Putin himself and his inner circle, have been subject to personal financial sanctions across much of Europe and the United States. 

But everyday citizens are now feeling the pinch too, with multinational firms abandoning the increasing isolated national and the Russian rouble slumps to record lows against the dollar.  

But despite public pressure to follow suit, several global brands have stayed silent on the issue including Coca Cola, Pepsi and McDonalds. 

On Friday, Ukrainian supermarket chain Novus said it would stop selling Coca-Cola products – including Coca-Cola, Fanta, Schweppes and BonAqua mineral water – and slammed the company as ‘shameless’ for continuing to ‘work for the invaders in full strength’.

In a post on the company’s Facebook page, it said: ‘Our supermarket chain no longer cooperates with the Coca-Cola company, which continues to operate in the territory of the aggressor. We are abandoning all products belonging to the brand.’

Public pressure is growing for people to boycott brands belonging to Coca-Cola as they have yet to pull operations out of Russia despite Putin's invasion of Ukraine entering its twelfth day

Public pressure is growing for people to boycott brands belonging to Coca-Cola as they have yet to pull operations out of Russia despite Putin’s invasion of Ukraine entering its twelfth day

Pictured: In total more than £100 billion of trade ties have already been severed with the increasingly isolated Russia, with no sign the ever-largening embargo is set to lose momentum

Pictured: In total more than £100 billion of trade ties have already been severed with the increasingly isolated Russia, with no sign the ever-largening embargo is set to lose momentum

Supermarket chain Fozzy Group also said it was pulling products from shelves and stopping all future deliveries.

The company said in a statement: ‘From today, we are removing all products from the shelves of Silpo, Fora, FOZZY Cash&Carry, Market super Thrash (Thrash) stores and stop all future deliveries.’

Varus also joined in the boycott, citing the ‘official position of the Coca-Cola company to continue its activities in the market of the aggressor country’.

In a statement, the company said: ‘It’s official!! ️ Supermarket chain VARUS withdraws from sales all Coca-Cola products!

‘We made such a decision in light of Coca-Cola’s official position to continue operating in the market of the aggressor country.

‘So today we begin to remove VARUS products from the shelves of Coca-Cola, namely: Coca-cola soda, Cola-Cola Zero, Sprite, Fanta, Schweppes, BonAqua mineral water, FuzeTea cold tea, Rich juices, energy drinks Monster Energy Dri nk and the Burn .

‘We urge other networks to join the boycott.’

Public figures and social media users have also piled on pressure for the companies to act.

There are 10 bottling and distribution plants for Coca-Cola in Russia. Pictured: St Petersburg

There are 10 bottling and distribution plants for Coca-Cola in Russia. Pictured: St Petersburg 

Coca-Cola has yet to officially comment on its operations in Russia but the Russian distribution company has told Tass that operations continue as normal. Pictured: Plant in Samara, Russia

Coca-Cola has yet to officially comment on its operations in Russia but the Russian distribution company has told Tass that operations continue as normal. Pictured: Plant in Samara, Russia

New York state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the chief of New York state’s pension fund, singled out McDonald’s and Pepsi in a letter shared on Friday.

Mr DiNapoli said companies ‘need to consider whether doing business in Russia is worth the risk during this extraordinarily volatile time’.

He added: ‘Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and its highly unpredictable foreign policy are a threat to the global economy.

‘We’re encouraging the companies we invest in to do a risk analysis and determine what is in the best interests of their company and their shareholders.’

Pausing or ending operations in Russia ‘would address various investment risks associated with the Russian market and play an important role in condemning Russia’s role in fundamentally undermining the international order that is vital to a strong and healthy global economy,’ the letter said.

In the UK, British politician John Mann tweeted: ‘If Mcdonalds and Starbucks continue to sell in Russia then an international boycott of their products should he instigated.’

Meanwhile, Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden added: ‘Can you stop drinking Coca Cola please.

‘They are refusing to withdraw from Russia. Let’s show them some people power.’

As a business, Coca-Cola owns more than 500 brands including Costa Coffee, vitaminwater and Schweppes.

The pressure came after Russian news agency Tass reported that the company would continue to operate as normal in Russia.

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company AG, the Swiss-based company which distributes Coca-Cola products in Russia, told the outlet: ‘All operational, production, and logistics facilities of Coca-Cola in Russia are working.

‘We are fully responsible to partners, society, and thousands of our employees in Russia. Our top priority is the safety of our employees.’  

The company gets about 21 per cent of its volume from Russia and Ukraine and has shut down operations in Ukraine and sent staff home, it said in a statement last month.

Meanwhile, McDonalds and Pepsi have yet to comment on their operations in Russia.

According to their website, McDonalds has 847 restaurants in Russia with the country accounting for around 9 per cent of its total revenues.

Russia made up around 4 per cent of PepsiCo’s global revenues last year, the company said.

It comes after card payment giants Visa and Mastercard became the latest major firms to announce they will suspend operations in Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

McDonalds has also yet to comment on its operations in Russia. Pictured: Branch in Moscow

McDonalds has also yet to comment on its operations in Russia. Pictured: Branch in Moscow

PepsiCo is among the global brands which have yet to comment on operations in Russia

PepsiCo is among the global brands which have yet to comment on operations in Russia

Mastercard said that ‘noting the unprecedented nature of the current conflict and the uncertain economic environment,’ it had ‘decided to suspend our network services in Russia.’

Visa, for its part, said that ‘effective immediately’ it would ‘work with its clients and partners within Russia to cease all Visa transactions over the coming days.’

Visa cards issued by financial institutions outside of Russia will no longer work in Russia, the company said in a statement.  

Their announcement came after several major tech companies and retailers shut down their operations in Russia amid a ‘Great Cancellation’ of Vladimir Putin.

Samsung Electronics suspended shipments to Russia over ‘geopolitical developments’, the firm said on Saturday.

The South Korean tech giant is the world’s biggest memory chip maker and the leading smartphone seller in Russia.

Samsung suspended shipments to Russia over 'geopolitical developments', the firm said

Samsung suspended shipments to Russia over ‘geopolitical developments’, the firm said

‘Due to current geopolitical developments, shipments to Russia have been suspended,’ Samsung said in a statement. ‘We continue to actively monitor this complex situation to determine our next steps.’

Sberbank Rossii PAO, Russia’s largest lender, on Saturday said sanctions announced by Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc would not affect users of the cards it issues in Russia, Tass news agency reported.

‘These decisions will not affect Sberbank’s Visa and Mastercards inside the country,’ the Russian news agency quoted the bank as saying. Both Visa and Mastercard said they were suspending operations in Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.

Spanish clothing giant Inditex, which owns high street brand Zara and sports company Puma have both announced they will shutter their stores in Russia.

Puma said it will ‘continue to pay the full salary of our employees’ at ‘more than 100’ retail locations across the country, a spokeswoman said.

Russians turn to Chinese banking system as Visa and Mastercard pull out of Russia along with Netflix and TikTok in Great Cancellation of Putin

By Rory Tingle, Home Affairs Correspondent for MailOnline and Andrew Cavallier for Dailymail.com

The global financial system faces being split as Russia turns to China’s answer to Visa and Mastercard after the card firms pulled out of the country along with a swathe of other Western companies including Netflix and TikTok. 

Lenders including Sberbank and Alfa Bank plan to move to China’s UnionPay for their customers’ bank cards – although an expert today said the move would take time and cause severe economic disruption. 

It is a fresh sign the world’s financial system is splintering in two, with Moscow increasingly backing Beijing’s efforts to challenge the West’s domination of global banking infrastructure. 

Russia has also been recently ejected from Swift – which banks use to exchange messages – prompting concerns it will turn instead to CIPS, a Chinese rival. 

Western sanctions and the collapse of the rouble have hammered the spending power of ordinary Russians, who have been seen forming huge queues at ATMs in a rush to withdraw their deposits in US dollars. 

Last night, accountancy firms PWC and KPMG became the latest firms to announce their withdrawal from Russia and its ally, Belarus. Meanwhile, there have been calls to boycott Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Pepsi for continuing to do business in the country. 

There have been repeated scenes of ordinary Russians queueing up to withdraw cash from ATMs as Western sanctions continue to bite

There have been repeated scenes of ordinary Russians queueing up to withdraw cash from ATMs as Western sanctions continue to bite 

Lenders including Sberbank and Alfa Bank plan to move to China's UnionPay system for their customers' bank cards

Lenders including Sberbank and Alfa Bank plan to move to China’s UnionPay system for their customers’ bank cards 

George Godber, fund manager at Polar Capital, said the country’s economy would still suffer a ‘huge whack’ even if it manages to successfully adopt UnionPay. 

Here’s how YOU can help: Donate here to the Mail Force Ukraine Appeal

Readers of Mail Newspapers and MailOnline have always shown immense generosity at times of crisis.

Calling upon that human spirit, we are now launching an appeal to raise money for refugees from Ukraine.

For, surely, no one can fail to be moved by the heartbreaking images and stories of families – mostly women, children, the infirm and elderly – fleeing from Russia’s invading armed forces.

As this tally of misery increases over the coming days and months, these innocent victims of a tyrant will require accommodation, schools and medical support.

All donations to the Mail Ukraine Appeal will be distributed to charities and aid organisations providing such essential services.

In the name of charity and compassion, we urge all our readers to give swiftly and generously.

TO MAKE A DONATION ONLINE 

Donate at www.mailforcecharity.co.uk/donate 

To add Gift Aid to a donation – even one already made – complete an online form found here: mymail.co.uk/ukraine

Via bank transfer, please use these details:

Account name: Mail Force Charity

Account number: 48867365

Sort code: 60-00-01 

TO MAKE A DONATION VIA CHEQUE

Make your cheque payable to ‘Mail Force’ and post it to: Mail Newspapers Ukraine Appeal, GFM, 42 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY

TO MAKE A DONATION FROM THE US

US readers can donate to the appeal via a bank transfer to Associated Newspapers or by sending checks to dailymail.com HQ at 51 Astor Place (9th floor), New York, NY 10003

‘There’s a lot of IT and infrastructure, including the payment points that you see in stores – that will all need to be installed,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. 

‘Then of course you will need to get the banks and the different payment systems to talk to each other. Tech companies at the moment are pulling out their support but some are still supporting existing software.

‘This won’t be easy – the Russian economy will take a massive, massive whack from this payment move.’

Visa and Mastercard blocked Russia from their networks on Saturday, complying with government sanctions imposed over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. 

This left ordinary Russians unable to pay for basic goods using credit or debit cards, leaving them having to use cash instead. 

Other companies to join the ‘Great Cancellation’ of Vladimir Putin include TikTok, which has suspended all live streaming and content sharing on its platform in Russia, alongside American Express. 

TikTok – which has an estimated 34million Russian users – made the announcement on Sunday in response to the country’s new controversial ‘fake news’ law, which threatens imprisonment for sharing what authorities consider to be false information. 

‘TikTok is an outlet for creativity and entertainment that can provide a source of relief and human connection during a time of war when people are facing immense tragedy and isolation,’ the company said they had ‘no choice’ but to suspend the services.  

Netflix pulled out of Russia on Sunday, after temporarily stopping all future projects and acquisitions there.

‘Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia,’ the Netflix spokesperson said.

Netflix had earlier said it had no plans to add state-run channels to its Russian service, despite a regulation that would require it to distribute state-backed channels.

Also on Sunday, American Express announced it is suspending all operations in Russia and Belarus.

Globally issued American Express cards will no longer work at merchants or ATMs in Russia, the company said in a statement. AmEx cards issued locally in Russia by the country’s banks will also no longer work outside of Russia.

The company previously halted its relationships with banks in Russia impacted by the U.S. and international government sanctions, the company said. 

An increasing number of Western companies are voluntarily pulling out of Russia, with movie studios suspending releases, energy firms divesting, and sports bodies cancelling competitions. 

Putin on Friday intensified a crackdown on media outlets and individuals who fail to hew to the Kremlin line on Russia’s war in Ukraine, blocking Facebook and Twitter and signing into law a bill that criminalizes the intentional spreading of what Moscow deems to be ‘fake’ reports. 

Muscovites line up to withdraw US dollars at a Tinkoff ATM in a supermarket last week

Muscovites line up to withdraw US dollars at a Tinkoff ATM in a supermarket last week 

The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian military has sent the Russian ruble plummeting, leading uneasy people to line up at banks and ATMs to withdraw dollars

The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian military has sent the Russian ruble plummeting, leading uneasy people to line up at banks and ATMs to withdraw dollars

Western sanctions and the collapse of the rouble have hammered the spending power of ordinary Russians

Western sanctions and the collapse of the rouble have hammered the spending power of ordinary Russians

Oil price surges to $125 a barrel – its highest level since 2008 and rouble tumbles again 

By Martin Robinson, Chief Reporter

Global oil prices are at the highest level for 14 years today – spiking to $140 per barrel on some markets – as the West considers banning imports of Russian oil that gives the pariah state $100billion-a-month to help fund his military.

Today the rouble continued to collapse as the US, UK and the EU tries to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels and more Western firms also pulled out, causing an earthquake in Putin’s economy.

Brent oil prices soared to a near 14-year high of $140 on Sunday as traders fretted over the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Brent North Sea crude oil for May delivery reached $139.13 shortly after electronic trading opened last night heading towards a 2008 record high before retreating slightly over the next hour. The global average is around $130.

The European benchmark crude hit its record price of $147.50 per barrel in July 2008.

The FTSE 100 has also dropped below the symbolic 7,000 mark today – down almost 2% – and safe-haven gold broke $2,000 as investors grew increasingly fearful about the impact of the Ukraine war on the global economy. 

In Britain, motorists will face even higher petrol prices with 5p being added to a litre of diesel every day over the past week and is likely to hit 175p across the country soon.

Washington is in ‘active talks’ with European allies about targeting Russia’s energy industry in the next round of sanctions, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced.

An oil import ban would be highly damaging to the Kremlin’s finances with President Biden reported to be considering visiting Saudi Arabia to urge them to increase oil production when Russian exports are boycotted. The US will also consider upping its own production. 

Social media giant TikTok, which is part of the larger Chinese tech company ByteDance, stated that the safety of the app’s employees and users is its highest priority.  

‘We have no choice but to suspend live streaming and new content to our video service in Russia while we review the safety implications of this law,’ TikTok said.  

‘Our in-app messaging service will not be affected,’ the statement reads. ‘We will continue to evaluate the evolving circumstances in Russia to determine when we might fully resume our services with safety as our top priority.’     

Russia blocked access to Facebook for its 146 million citizens on Friday, threatening to punish anyone who spreads ‘false information’ about its invasion of Ukraine with as many as 15 years in prison. 

The move by Putin, who signed a law that effectively criminalizes public opposition to or non-state news coverage of the conflict, comes as the Kremlin struggles to curb widespread dissent over the war and cope with crippling Western sanctions.

Russia’s media regulator Roskomnadzor announced Friday, nine days after the Russian invasion, that both Facebook and Twitter would be nixed as soon as Saturday under the new guidance, citing at least ’26 cases of discrimination against Russian media.’ 

The watchdog has urged all outlets to use only ‘trustworthy sources’ when reporting on the invasion of Ukraine. 

Roskomnadzor said the social network ban served as a response to the social media giant’s restricting of Kremlin-run media outlets over inaccuracies in reporting covering the conflict.

‘Since October 2020, 26 cases of discrimination against Russian media and information resources by Facebook have been recorded,’ the media watchdog wrote in a statement announcing the ban Friday. 

Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs at Facebook parent Meta, says the move by Putin has left Russian citizens ‘silenced from speaking out’ against the conflict, which carried over into its ninth day Friday.

‘Soon millions of ordinary Russians will find themselves cut off from reliable information, deprived of their everyday ways of connecting with family and friends and silenced from speaking out,’ Clegg said of the decision.

‘We will continue to do everything we can to restore our services so they remain available to people to safely and securely express themselves and organize for action.’ 

TikTok made the announcement Sunday, and said they had 'no choice' but to suspend the services, because the app's employees and users is its highest priority

TikTok made the announcement Sunday, and said they had ‘no choice’ but to suspend the services, because the app’s employees and users is its highest priority

The platform is not the first media outlet to suspend its services in Russia in light of Russia's new 'fake news' law

The platform is not the first media outlet to suspend its services in Russia in light of Russia’s new ‘fake news’ law

TikTok's in-app messaging service will not be affected, and they company will continue to evaluate the evolving circumstances in Russia to determine next steps

TikTok’s in-app messaging service will not be affected, and they company will continue to evaluate the evolving circumstances in Russia to determine next steps

Hours later, Russian news outlet Interfax reported that Roskomnadzor had also begun blocking Twitter.

Many contend that the crackdown is the Kremlin’s response to public discontent over the war in Ukraine – a propagandist effort to control the narrative regarding their ongoing military operations in the country.

Following the outset of the invasion last Thursday, companies like Twitter and Google have committed to labeling state-owned media and suspending advertising in Russia.

Meanwhile, the new law would allow Russian authorities to jail anyone who spreads ‘fake’ news about the conflict.

Following Friday’s announcement, the BBC suspended the work of its journalists in the country.

Last week, the Kremlin limited access to Facebook after staffers refused to halt its fact-checking and labelling of content from state-owned organizations.  

The move by President Vladimir Putin, who signed a law that effectively criminalizes public opposition to or non-state news coverage of the conflict, comes as the Kremlin struggles to curb widespread dissent over the war and cope with crippling Western sanctions

The move by President Vladimir Putin, who signed a law that effectively criminalizes public opposition to or non-state news coverage of the conflict, comes as the Kremlin struggles to curb widespread dissent over the war and cope with crippling Western sanctions 

The price of a barrel of oil is spiking upwards and is expected to get worse as the US pushes for a global ban on buying Russian oil

The price of a barrel of oil is spiking upwards and is expected to get worse as the US pushes for a global ban on buying Russian oil

On Thursday, Russian Twitter users began commenting that Facebook, along with the BBC and independent Russian news outlet Meduza, were blocked in the country.

Reports of Russia restricting internet bandwith last week also surfaced, with data from internet censorship tracking company GlobalCheck showing that Russia was limiting user traffic to Facebook.

According to the company, Facebook user connections in the country fell to 25 percent at one point last week, the most throttled the platform had been since the invasion began.

Twitter also said last week that Russians were being restricted from accessing its platform.

In a tweet at the time, the company said it was ‘aware’ that access to the platform has been restricted for some people in Russia, adding it was ‘working to keep our service safe and accessible’.

The move against Facebook also follows blocks imposed on broadcasters including the BBC, the US government-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, The Associated Press reported.

As the conflict in Ukraine rages on, companies in Silicon Valley have acted as de facto watchdogs themselves amid apparent misinformation efforts by Russian media. 

YouTube and Facebook have banned Russian state-owned media outlets RT and Sputnik's channels across Europe (pictured on Tuesday)

YouTube and Facebook have banned Russian state-owned media outlets RT and Sputnik’s channels across Europe (pictured on Tuesday)

Over the weekend, Facebook and Twitter both announced that they had taken down two anti-Ukrainian disinformation campaigns posted by Russian state-owned outlets.

Meta, TikTok, and YouTube, which is owned by Google, have also banned notable state outlets RT and Sputnik from their platforms in Europe.

Reddit, meanwhile, has banned users from posting links to Russian state-owned media. Apple and Google have also removed RT from their app stores outside of Russia.

For now, Russian social networks like VKontakte remain accessible to Russian internet users, along with Meta-owned Instagram and YouTube. 

Many of the West’s largest companies have withdrawn from Russia and its ally, Belarus, following Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Below is a sector by sector analysis of the ‘Great Cancellation’.  

Key financial firms suspend business in Russia 

Visa said last week it was taking prompt action to ensure compliance with applicable sanctions, adding that it will donate $2 million for humanitarian aid. Mastercard also promised to contribute $2 million.   

‘We will continue to work with regulators in the days ahead to abide fully by our compliance obligations as they evolve,’ Mastercard said in a separate statement last week.

The government sanctions require Visa to suspend access to its network for entities listed as Specially Designated Nationals, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

A man walks past a digital board showing Russian rouble exchange rates against the euro and the US dollar outside a currency exchange office in Moscow last week

A man walks past a digital board showing Russian rouble exchange rates against the euro and the US dollar outside a currency exchange office in Moscow last week

It means that clients at three of Russia’s 10 largest banks – VTB, private lender Sovcombank and central-bank-owned Otkritie – can no longer pay with ApplePay and GooglePay services.

That has created problems for metro users in Moscow, forcing commuters to buy one of the transport system’s Troika cards, use a plastic card or sign up to the city’s facial recognition Face Pay system instead.

The United States has added various Russian financial firms to the list, including the country’s central bank and second-largest lender VTB.

Global bank HSBC is also beginning to wind down relations with a host of Russian banks including the second-largest, VTB.

The bank has little direct exposure in Russia, with around 200 employees and annual revenues of $15 million in the country, against its global income of $50 billion.

Nordic lender Nordea said it had suspended trading in investment funds heavily exposed to Russia

Major money managers, including hedge fund Man Group and British asset manager abrdn, have been cutting their positions in Russia even as the rouble slumped to a record low and trading froze on its bonds.

A passenger uses a mobile phone to pay a fare at a Moscow Metro station last week. Passengers fare payments with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay working with Visa and Mastercard were declined amid the sanctions imposed on Russia's VTB Bank

A passenger uses a mobile phone to pay a fare at a Moscow Metro station last week. Passengers fare payments with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay working with Visa and Mastercard were declined amid the sanctions imposed on Russia’s VTB Bank

‘There is certainly a willingness from asset managers and benchmark providers to get rid of Russia exposure in their portfolios and indexes,’ said Kaspar Hense, a senior portfolio manager at Bluebay Asset Management in London.

‘The big question is where do buyers turn up?’

Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International is also looking into leaving Russia, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, a move that would make it the first European bank to do so since the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

India’s top lender will not process any transactions involving Russian entities subject to international sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, according to a letter seen by Reuters and people familiar with the matter.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced the country will temporarily stop foreign investors from selling Russian assets to ensure they take a considered decision, but did not give details.

Moscow’s move to impose capital controls mean that billions of dollars worth of securities held by foreigners in Russia are at risk of being trapped.

British asset manager Liontrust has suspended dealing in its Russia fund, while the prices of some of the most popular Russia-focused exchange traded funds were trading at a discount to their net asset values.

Ratings agency Fitch has identified 11 Russia-focused funds which have been suspended, with total assets under management of 4.4 billion euros ($4.92 billion) at end-January, a spokesperson said by email.

Meanwhile, accountants PWC and KPMG have also announced they are leaving the country.  

Shipping firms halt deliveries, leaving Russia isolated

U.S.-based United Parcel Service and FedEx, two of the world’s largest logistics companies, have said they are halting delivery services to Russia and Ukraine.

Container shipping company Ocean Network Express last week suspended bookings to and from Russia.

U.S.-based United Parcel Service and FedEx, two of the world's largest logistics companies, have said they are halting delivery services to Russia (file photo)

U.S.-based United Parcel Service and FedEx, two of the world’s largest logistics companies, have said they are halting delivery services to Russia (file photo)

Shipping group Maersk will temporarily halt all container shipping to and from Russia in response to Western sanctions on Moscow.

Maersk operates container shipping routes to St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad in the Baltic Sea, Novorossiysk in the Black Sea, and Vladivostok and Vostochny on Russia’s east coast.

Deutsche Post announced it had stopped DHL deliveries to Russia.

German shipping company Hapag Lloyd said it had issued a temporary suspension on bookings for Russia and halted sailings for Ukraine.

Shipping company MSC has stopped cargo bookings to and from Russian but will still accept and screen food and humanitarian cargoes. 

Automakers halt production and sales in Russia 

General Motors said it would suspend all vehicle exports to Russia until further notice. 

The Detroit company does not have plants in Russia, only sells about 3,000 vehicles annually there and has limited supply-chain exposure.  

Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson said it had suspended its business and shipments of its bikes to Russia.

Daimler Truck said it would freeze its business activities in Russia with immediate effect, including its cooperation with Russian truck maker Kamaz.

Its pre-spinoff parent company, Mercedes-Benz Group , is looking into legal options to divest its 15 percent stake in Kamaz as quickly as possible.

Sweden’s Volvo Cars said it would suspend car shipments to the Russian market until further notice. Volvo sold around 9,000 cars in Russia in 2021, based on industry data. 

Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors said it may suspend production and sale of its cars in Russia as economic sanctions could trigger supply chain disruptions.

French carmaker Renault will suspend some operations at its car assembly plants in Russia next week due to logistics bottlenecks.

Renault is among the Western companies most exposed to Russia, where it makes 8 percent of its core earnings, according to Citibank. It also controls Avtovaz, Russia’s biggest carmaker.

Luxury carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) also paused the delivery of vehicles to Russia.

Entertainment companies and sporting bodies pull out 

Hollywood studios Disney, Warner Bros, and Sony Pictures Entertainment said they would pause theatrical releases of upcoming films in Russia.  

Warner Bros. announced last week that it was cancelling its Russian release of The Batman originally slated for March 2, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Warner Bros.’ statement read, ‘In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film The Batman in Russia. 

‘We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy,’ the Warner statement concluded. 

The Walt Disney Company also issued a statement revealing they are cancelling all of their upcoming theatrical releases in Russia, including the upcoming Turning Red, originally slated for release in Russia on March 10.

Canceled: Warner Bros. announced that it was cancelling its Russian release of The Batman originally slated for March 2, due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Canceled: Warner Bros. announced that it was cancelling its Russian release of The Batman originally slated for March 2, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Disney released a statement, which read, ‘Given the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, we are pausing the release of theatrical films in Russia, including the upcoming Turning Red from Pixar.’

‘We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation. In the meantime, given the scale of the emerging refugee crisis, we are working with our NGO partners to provide urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance to refugees,’ the Disney statement concluded.

Sony Pictures also issued a statement that it was cancelling Morbius’ release in Russia, originally slated for March 24, along with other future releases.

Sony’s statement began, ‘Given the ongoing military action in Ukraine and the resulting uncertainty and humanitarian crisis unfolding in that region, we will be pausing our planned theatrical releases in Russia, including the upcoming release of Morbius.’

As well, Russia is facing pariah status in the sporting world because of their invasion of Ukraine after being ostracized by several high-profile federations.  

FIFA and UEFA have expelled Russian clubs and national sides from all competitions after the International Olympic Committee’s call to implement a total ban

FIFA and UEFA have expelled Russian clubs and national sides from all competitions after the International Olympic Committee’s call to implement a total ban

FIFA and UEFA have expelled Russian clubs and national sides from all competitions after the International Olympic Committee’s call to implement a total ban on the country as well as Belarus, who have supported the invasion.

This season’s Champions League final due to be held in St Petersburg on May 28 has been switched to Paris while Spartak Moscow have been thrown out of the Europa League.

Of far greater significance is Russia’s almost certain absence from the 2022 World Cup – they staged the event four years ago – as their qualifying semi-final play-off will not go ahead while their women’s team are banned from Euro 2022. 

Other sectors: Companies from Uber to Adidas seek exit 

Uber is speeding up its work disentangling itself from a Russian partner, the company said last week.

Uber in July 2017 announced that it was forming a partnership with the Russian company Yandex, an online giant to rival Google that offers search engines, music streaming, emails, advertising and autonomous cars.

At the time, Yandex was one of Russia’s most successful internet enterprises, accounting for some 65 percent of all searches and operating popular map and public transit apps.

The deal, which went into effect in 2018, was valued at about $3.7 billion.

Meanwhile, Finnish tire maker Nokian Tyres is shifting production of some of its key product lines from Russia to Finland and the United States.

A taxi operated by Uber, through their joint venture with Yandex, is seen on the streets of Moscow on February 23. Last Monday, Uber announced they were 'accelerating' moves begun last year to end their partnership with the Russian firm

A taxi operated by Uber, through their joint venture with Yandex, is seen on the streets of Moscow on February 23. Last Monday, Uber announced they were ‘accelerating’ moves begun last year to end their partnership with the Russian firm

Nokian produces approximately 80 percent of its annual capacity of 20 million tires in Russia, where it employs around 1,600 people, a company spokesperson said.

Finnish chemical company Kemira discontinued deliveries to Russia and Belarus from March 1 until further notice.

Laptop maker Dell Technologies Inc said it had suspended product sales in Ukraine and Russia.

German sportswear company Adidas has suspended its partnership with the Russian Football Union (RFS) with immediate effect.

Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson is suspending its deliveries to Russia as it assesses the potential impact of sanctions on its business there.

Nokia will stop deliveries to Russia to comply with sanctions. It supplies MTS, Vimpelcom, Megafon and Tele2 in Russia.

Swedish engineering group Sandvik is suspending its operations in Russia.

Sandvik generated around 3.5 percent of its 2021 revenue in Russia. The group has no production in the country but about 900 employees in sales and services.

The world’s biggest aircraft leasing company AerCap Holdings , headquartered in Dublin, will cease leasing activity with Russian airlines.

The company says about 5 percent of its fleet by net book value was on lease to Russian airlines at the end of 2021.

Luxury firms Burberry, Fortnum’s and Harrods have also said they will shut up shop in Russia as more businesses pile pressure on the Kremlin. 

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