Ikea, Apple, McDonald's among companies cutting ties with Russia over Ukraine invasion: LIST

McDonald's says it is temporarily closed 850 restaurants in Russia in response to the Ukraine invasion.

ByCNN Business staff, CNNWire
Thursday, March 10, 2022
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A growing number of international companies, including Apple, Disney and Ford, are dialing back operations in Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Dozens of the world's biggest companies have abandoned or scaled back their operations in Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

The exodus affects every corner of the economy, from its vast energy riches through autos, finance, retail, entertainment and fast food, starving Russia of new investment and removing products and services that had become popular in the decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Here's a look at the major corporate departures.

Autos

Ford announced it was suspending its operations in Russia. The American automaker has a 50% stake in Ford Sollers, a joint venture that employs at least 4,000 workers and is shared with Russian company Sollers.

The company has plants in St. Petersburg, Elabuga and Naberezhnye Chelny but said it had "significantly wound down" its Russian operations in recent years. The automaker said it was "deeply concerned about the situation in Ukraine," and noted it has "a strong contingent of Ukrainian nationals working at Ford around the world."

General Motors said it was halting all exports to Russia "until further notice."

GM doesn't have a significant presence there: It sells only about 3,000 vehicles a year through 16 dealerships, according to a spokesperson. That's out of the more than 6 million vehicles the Detroit-based automaker sells annually.

Toyota announced it would stop making cars in Russia or importing them to the country "until further notice, due to supply chain disruptions."

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Volkswagen is stopping production of vehicles in Russia and has suspended exports to the Russian market. The decision applies to the Russian production sites in Kaluga and Nizhny Novgorod.

Nissan has suspended the export of vehicles to Russia, adding that it "anticipates that production will stop soon at our plant in St. Petersburg."

Aviation

Boeing said it would suspend support for Russian airlines.

A company spokesperson confirmed the aircraft maker was pausing "parts, maintenance and technical support services for Russian airlines," and had also "suspended major operations in Moscow and temporarily closed our office in Kyiv."

Airbus followed Boeing with a similar move. In a statement, the company said it has "suspended support services to Russian airlines, as well as the supply of spare parts to the country."

Big Tech

Apple has stopped selling its products in Russia.

The tech giant said in a statement that it was "deeply concerned" about the Russian invasion. In response, the company has also moved to limit access to digital services, such as Apple Pay, inside Russia, and restricted the availability of Russian state media applications outside the country.

Facebook-parent Meta said it would block access to Russian news outlets Sputnik and RT, the Russia-backed television network infamous for promoting Russian President Vladimir Putin's agenda, across the European Union.

The move comes after the company received "requests from a number of governments and the EU to take further steps in relation to Russian state controlled media," Nick Clegg, Meta's VP of global affairs, wrote in a tweet.

Meta has also said it has applied algorithmic restrictions on Russian state media that should prevent those posts from surfacing as prominently in users' feeds.

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Twitter has similarly announced plans to "reduce the visibility and amplification" of Russian state media content.

Netflix said it will be suspending its streaming service in Russia.

"Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia," a Netflix spokesperson told CNN.

No other details were provided.

Previously, the company said it was refusing to air Russian state TV channels - something that the platform would have been required to do starting this week under Russian law.

"Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service," the company told CNN Business.

Spotify said it has closed its office in Russia "indefinitely" and restricted shows "owned and operated by Russian state-affiliated media." The streaming service removed all content from RT and Sputnik in Europe and other regions, a company spokesman said.

"We are deeply shocked and saddened by the unprovoked attack on Ukraine," the spokesman added. "Our first priority over the past week has been the safety of our employees and to ensure that Spotify continues to serve as an important source of global and regional news at a time when access to information is more important than ever."

Roku, which sells hardware allowing users to stream content through the internet, has banned RT worldwide.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, said it blocked Russian state media within Ukraine, including RT. The video platform also said it would be "significantly limiting recommendations to these channels."

Google and YouTube have also said they will no longer allow Russian state media outlets to run ads or monetize their content.

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Airbnb cofounder and CEO Brian Chesky said in a tweet that his company was suspending all operations in Russia and Belarus.

Intel has stopped all shipments to Russia and Belarus, the company announced.

Microsoft said it was suspending all new sales of its products and services in Russia. President and vice-chair Brad Smith also said the company is stopping "many aspects" of its business in Russia in compliance with government sanctions. Microsoft also said it will continue aiding in Ukrainian cybersecurity.

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said the company has suspended all business in Russia.

"In Ukraine, we have been in constant touch with our local teams and continue to provide assistance that includes relocation and financial support," Krishna said. "The safety and security of IBMers and their families in all areas impacted by this crisis remains our top priority."

Amazon's cloud division, Amazon Web Services, said March 8 it would halt new sign-ups for the service in Russia and Ukraine. The company has already had a "long-standing policy of not doing business with the Russian government" and does not have data centers, infrastructure or offices in Russia, the company said in a blog post.

"AWS has clear terms of service where if a customer is using AWS services to threaten, incite, promote, or actively encourage violence, terrorism, or other serious harm, they will not be permitted to use our services," Amazon said. "Any customer we know of who is participating in this type of behavior will have their access to AWS suspended."

Consulting

Accenture is discontinuing its business in Russia as it "stands with the people of Ukraine," it said.

The firm announced the move in a statement on March 3, where it thanked its "nearly 2,300 colleagues in Russia for their dedication and service to Accenture over the years."

"We will be providing support to our Russian colleagues," the company added.

In a similar move, Deloitte announced on March 7 that it would stop operating in Russia and Belarus.

"While we know this is the right decision, it will have an impact on Deloitte's [approximately] 3,000 professionals located in Russia and Belarus. Like others, we know our colleagues in Russia and Belarus have no voice in the actions of their government," the firm said.

"We will support all impacted colleagues during this transition and do all we can to assist them during this extremely difficult time."

EY, otherwise known as Ernst & Young, also said it would remove its Russian practice from its official global network, but allow it to "continue working with clients as an independent group of audit and consulting companies."

"EY in Russia is a team of 4,700 professionals working in 9 cities of the country. The company has been operating in the Russian market for more than 30 years," it said on March 7.

Consulting and accounting firm KPMG International said that its "Russia and Belarus firms will leave the KPMG network."

"KPMG has over 4,500 people in Russia and Belarus, and ending our working relationship with them, many of whom have been a part of KPMG for many decades, is incredibly difficult," the company said. "This decision is not about them -- it is a consequence of the actions of the Russian Government. We are a purpose-led and values-driven organization that believes in doing the right thing."

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is also planning to break away from its Russian business.

"As a result of the Russian government's invasion of Ukraine we have decided that, under the circumstances, PwC should not have a member firm in Russia and consequently PwC Russia will leave the network," the "Big Four" consultancy said in a statement.

"Our main focus at PwC continues to be doing all we can to help our Ukrainian colleagues and support the humanitarian efforts," it added.

"We are also committed to working with our colleagues at PwC Russia to undertake an orderly transition for the business, and with a focus on the wellbeing of our 3,700 colleagues in PwC Russia."

Energy

BP said it was planning to exit its 19.75% stake in Russia's biggest oil company, Rosneft, and suspending their joint ventures - which amount to one of the biggest foreign investments in Russia.

Equinor will also begin to exit its joint ventures in Russia, the Norwegian oil and gas company announced.

"We are all deeply troubled by the invasion of Ukraine, which represents a terrible setback for the world," said CEO Anders Opedal.

MORE: US banning Russian oil imports as Biden warns of 'costs' to Americans

The company said it had $1.2 billion in long-term investments in Russia at the end of 2021. It has operated in Russia for more than 30 years and has a cooperation agreement with Rosneft.

Exxon pledged to leave its last remaining oil-and-gas project in Russia and not to invest in new developments in the country.

The Sakhalin-1 venture is "one of the largest single international direct investments in Russia," according to the project's website. An Exxon subsidiary has a 30% share, while Rosneft also owns a stake.

By quitting this project, Exxon would end more than a quarter-century of continuing business presence in Russia.

General Electric suspended most of its operations in Russia, with the exception of "providing essential medical equipment and supporting existing power services."

Shell is getting out of Russia and ditching its joint ventures with Gazprom, including its involvement with the moribund Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.

The UK-based oil company said on February 28 it would dump its stake in a liquified natural gas facility, its stake in a project to develop fields in western Siberia and its interest in an exploration project in the Gydan peninsula in northwestern Siberia.

"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," Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said in a statement.

Shell has also decided to stop buying Russian oil and gas and will close its service station network.

TotalEnergies also condemned Russia's actions and said it would no longer provide capital for new projects in the country.

The French oil giant has done business in Russia for 25 years, and recently helped launch a major liquefied natural gas project on the Siberian coast.

Finance

Norway's $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund will divest shares in 47 Russian companies as well as Russian government bonds, the Norwegian prime minister said.

Mastercard said it was suspending its network services in Russia. Cards supported by Russian banks will not work in the company's network, and any cards issued outside of Russia will not work within the country.

The credit giant, which has operated in Russia for more than 25 years, had previously announced that it had "blocked multiple financial institutions" from its network as a result of anti-Russian sanctions, and would "continue to work with regulators in the days ahead."

Visa said it is suspending all of its operations in Russia. It will end all Visa transactions within its borders, and Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside of the country. In addition, all Visa cards worldwide "will no longer work within the Russian Federation," Visa said.

American Express said in a statement that globally issued American Express cards will no longer work in Russia, and cards issued in Russia won't work outside the country. The company also said it is ending its business operations in Belarus.

Moody's said it is suspending commercial operations in Russia. Its investors service will "maintain analytical coverage for existing ratings from outside Russia."

Media & entertainment

DirecTV is cutting ties with RT.

A spokesperson for the US satellite carrier told CNN Business that it had already been reviewing whether to renew the outlet's carriage agreement, which was due to expire later this year. Russia's war on Ukraine sped up its decision, according to the representative.

Disney is also suspending the release of its theatrical films in Russia, citing "the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine."

The entertainment giant had multiple films set for release in Russia in the coming months. That includes Marvel's "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" on May 5 and Pixar's "Lightyear" on June 16.

"We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation," a Disney spokesperson said.

WarnerMedia said on February 28 that it would pause the release of "The Batman" in Russia.

The film is one of the biggest blockbusters of the year, and is being released in most countries by Warner Bros.

A company spokesperson said that the decision was made "in light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine," and that the company hoped "for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy."

WarnerMedia is also pausing all new business in Russia, ceasing broadcast of its channels, halting all new content licensing with Russian entities, and pausing planned theatrical and games releases.

Retail

H&M will pause all sales in Russia.

In a statement, the company said that it was "deeply concerned about the tragic developments in Ukraine, and stands with all the people who are suffering."

The clothing giant's stores in Ukraine are already closed due to safety concerns.

H&M Group, which operates a number of brands, had 168 stores in Russia as of last November, according to its website.

Heineken will stop producing and selling beer in Russia.

The brewer announced on March 9 that it would "take immediate steps to ring-fence" its Russian business, "to stop the flow of monies, royalties and dividends" out of the country.

The beverage giant, which sells into more than 190 countries, had already announced a suspension on new investments and exports to Russia.

"We are assessing the strategic options for the future of our Russian operations," it said in a statement. "We see a clear distinction between the actions of the government and our employees in Russia."

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Ikea, the world's largest furniture company, is closing its 17 stores in Russia. The company said the conflict is having a "huge human impact" and is "resulting in serious disruptions to supply chain and trading conditions." In addition to pausing its retail and manufacturing operations in Russia, it will suspend all trade with the country and its ally, Belarus.

Ikea said 15,000 workers would be directly affected by the shutdown in the region. The company will continue to pay them, at least for the time being.

Inditex, the parent company of Zara, said it is pausing operations in Russia and closing 502 stores in the country. In a statement, the company said Russia accounts for about 8.5% of its earnings before interest and tax.

Mothercare is suspending business in Russia and stopping shipments there.

"Our local partner has confirmed that it will be immediately pausing operations in some 120 stores and online," it said on March 9.

Russia accounts for around 20% to 25% of sales for the retailer, which specializes in goods for parents and babies.

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German sports company Puma said it is suspending operations of all of its stores in Russia. The company said it operates more than 100 stores in the country.

Luxury fashion house Prada is suspending its retail operations in Russia.

Procter & Gamble CEO Jon Moeller said in a letter to employees on March 7 that the company has "discontinued all new capital investments in Russia" and is "suspending all media, advertising, and promotional activity."

"We are significantly reducing our product portfolio to focus on basic health, hygiene and personal care items needed by the many Russian families who depend on them in their daily lives," Moeller said. "As we proceed with the reduced scale of our Russian operations, we will continue to adjust as necessary."

Estée Lauder Companies said March 7 that it will "suspend all commercial activity in Russia, including closing every store we own and operate, as well as our brand sites and shipments to any of our retailers in Russia." The company had already suspended business investments and initiatives in Russia, it said in a statement.

Yum Brands, which has 1,000 KFC and Pizza Hut franchises in Russia, said it would suspend all investment and restaurant development in the country. The company said it would "assess additional options" and redirect all profits from operations in Russia to humanitarian efforts.

McDonald's is temporarily closing its Russian restaurants. Eighty-four percent of McDonald's locations in Russia are operated by the company, according to the document. Russia's restaurants, along with another 108 in Ukraine, all operated by McDonald's, accounted for 9% of the company's revenue in 2021.

Unilever said it will "continue to supply our everyday essential food and hygiene products made in Russia to people in the country," adding "we will keep this under close review." But the company noted it is has suspended imports of its products to Russia and is stopping all investment in the country, in addition to stopping exports from there. It said it won't profit from its presence in Russia.

Shipping goods

UPS and FedEx have suspended operations in Russia and Belarus. FedEx said it suspended operations to "support the people of Ukraine." DHL said it has suspended inbound shipments to Russia and Belarus.

Maersk and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company are both halting cargo bookings with Russia.

"As the stability and safety of our operations is already being directly and indirectly impacted by sanctions, new Maersk bookings to and from Russia will be temporarily suspended, with exception of foodstuffs, medical and humanitarian supplies," the Denmark-based company said in a statement.

"We are deeply concerned by how the crisis keeps escalating in Ukraine," the company added.

MSC, a Swiss-owned container shipping line, said its suspension would cover "all access areas, including Baltics, Black Sea and Far East Russia."

Trains

French train maker Alstom said that it will "suspend all deliveries towards Russia" in a statement on March 9.

The group is also suspending all future business investments in Russia, it added.

Alstom owns a 20% stake - as a capital investment - in Transmashholding (TMH), the Russian locomotives and rail equipment provider.

"There was no material business nor operational link between Alstom and TMH," the company said. "The book value will be re-assessed as part of the fiscal year 2021/22 closing accounts."

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Rishi Iyengar, Michelle Toh, Diksha Madhok, Chris Isidore, Vanessa Yurkevich, Paul P. Murphy, Mark Thompson, Vasco Cotovio, Peter Valdes-Dapena, Frank Pallotta, Brian Fung, Oliver Darcy, Jordan Valinsky, Aliza Kassim, Chris Liakos, Pamela Boykoff, Robert North and Anna Stewart contributed to this report.

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