These are the corporations that have pulled out of Russia since its invasion of Ukraine
Car shipments were paused. Beer stopped flowing. Cargo ships dropped port calls, and oil companies cut their pipelines.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is leading some of the world’s best known brands — from Apple to Disney and Ikea — to abruptly exit a country that’s become a global outcast.
“You basically have Russia becoming a commercial pariah,” said economist Mary Lovely, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “Pretty much no company, no multinational, wants to be caught on the wrong side of U.S. and Western sanctions.”
Along with needing to comply with, companies are increasingly aware of the potential reputational risk of continuing with business as usual in the country, while some have cited their own corporate responsibility standards for pulling back. They’re also expressing concern about the plight of Ukrainians as the the war takes a mounting toll on civilians and displaces more than 1.5 million people.
Complicating companies’ flight is an order from Moscow temporarily restricting foreign investors from selling Russian assets. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said last week that it would help investors make “a considered decision” rather than succumb to the political pressure of sanctions. It’s not clear how that measure may affect corporations’ efforts to withdraw from Russia.
Here is a running list of companies that have scaled back or cut ties with Russia. This list will be updated regularly.
Western sanctions on Russia have for now excluded the energy sector, where Russia is a major player. The nation is the world’s third-largest producer of oil and second-largest producer of natural gas. However, oil and gas companies, already feeling the heat from climate activists to invest in renewable energy, were among the companies that announced the most rapid and dramatic exits.
Energy firm BP, which calls itself Russia’s largest foreign investor, said on Sunday that it would abandon its nearly 20% stake in Russian state-owned oil and gas company Rosneft. The move could cost it anywhere from $14 billion to $25 billion, according to Reuters.
Norway’s biggest energy company announced Monday it would begin withdrawing from its joint ventures in Russia, valued at about $1.2 billion. “We are all deeply troubled by the invasion of Ukraine, which represents a terrible setback for the world,” Anders Opedal, Equinor’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
ExxonMobil on Wednesdayit would pull out of a key oil and gas project, Sakhalin-1, and halt any new investments in Russia. The firm did not provide a timeline for its withdrawal from the project, which it operates on behalf of an international consortium.
“The process to discontinue operations will need to be carefully managed and closely coordinated with the co-venturers in order to ensure it is executed safely,” the company said in its announcement, adding, “ExxonMobil supports the people of Ukraine as they seek to defend their freedom and determine their own future as a nation. We deplore Russia’s military action that violates the territorial integrity of Ukraine and endangers its people.”
On Monday, Shell said it was leaving its joint venture with state-owned Gazprom and ending its involvement in the now-suspended Nord Stream 2 pipeline built to carry natural gas to Western Europe. The move could cost the company roughly $3 billion in assets.
Cars and planes
Companies in the auto and aviation industries also signaled they’re staying out of the Russian market, either out of concern for Ukraine or to comply with Western sanctions.
Boeing and Airbus
Airplane makers Boeing and Airbus stopped supplying parts and service support for Russian carriers. Boeing suspended major operations in Moscow and has temporarily closed its Kyiv office.
Russian airlines have 62 planes on order with the two manufacturers, Reuters reported.
Germany’s Daimler Truck has suspended deliveries of truck components to its Russian partner Kamaz. “We have decided to discontinue our business activities in Russia with immediate effect until further notice,” it tweeted on Monday.
Ford Motor Company
Ford also suspended operations in Russia and said it would donate money for Ukrainian refugees. The company’s Russia business is quite limited, with Ford having a minority stake in a joint venture with PJSC Sollers, which focuses on commercial van manufacturing.
“Given the situation, we have today informed our JV partners that we are suspending our operations in Russia, effective immediately, until further notice,” Ford said.
“While we don’t have significant operations in Ukraine, we do have a strong contingent of Ukrainian nationals working at Ford around the world and we will continue to support them through this time,” the company added.
Harley-Davidson halted motorcycle shipments to Russia, saying its thoughts “continue for the safety of the people of Ukraine.” Putin famously rode a three-wheeled Harley on a visit to Ukraine in 2010.
Mercedes-Benz suspended exports of cars and vans to Russia and ceased its manufacturing there late on Wednesday. It will keep working with suppliers in Ukraine, who provide some components for its vehicles, MarketWatch reported.
Renault, one of the biggest players in Russia’s auto market, said only that it’s temporarily suspending production at its Moscow plant through Saturday “due to some logistics issues,” without being more specific. It’s among companies with more entrenched Russian operations that might find it harder to navigate the crisis.
Toyota is halting production at its St. Petersburg plant that makes RAV4 and Camry models starting Friday because of supply-chain disruptions, saying it was watching events “with great concern for the safety of the people of Ukraine.”
The Volkswagen Group, whose auto brands include Audi, Ducati, Skoda and Porsche, on Thursday said it would stop production at two factories in Russia as well as halt exports to the country immediately. Affected Russian workers would receive paid leave from the company, VW said.
Sweden’s Volvo Cars said it stopped deliveries because of “potential risks associated with trading material with Russia,” including Western sanctions.
The online housing service said late Thursday that it hadand its close ally Belarus. Earlier this week, Airbnb also announced that its nonprofit arm will offer who have fled Ukraine because of the invasion.
Czech brewer Budvar, which counts Russia as one of its five major markets, halted beer deliveries to the country, saying business is not the top priority and that it’s looking for ways to help, including finding accommodations for Ukrainian refugees.
Copenhagen-based Danish brewery group Carlsberg suspended production at two breweries in Ukraine, saying it’s “following the situation with great concern.” The company didn’t comment on its extensive Russian operations, including St. Petersburg-based Baltika Breweries, which exports beer worldwide.
Walt Disney on Monday said it would pause the release of its films in Russian theaters, including the upcoming “Turning Red” from Pixar. “We are working with our NGO partners to provide urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance to refugees,” the entertainment giant stated.
The fast-fashion chain said on Tuesday it would “temporarily pause all sales in Russia.” All of its Ukraine stores have been closed for safety reasons, H&M said.
“H&M Group is deeply concerned about the tragic developments in Ukraine and stand with all the people who are suffering,” the company said in its statement.
The Swedish furniture company said it was closing all of its Russian stores and pausing sourcing from Russia as well as Belarus, an ally of Russia
“The war has both a huge human impact and is resulting in serious disruptions to supply chain and trading conditions, which is why the company groups have decided to temporarily pause IKEA operations in Russia,” IKEA and Ingka Group said, according to Reuters.
Nike said it would temporarily shut down all its stores in Russia, a move that followed the sportswear company making purchases on its website and app unavailable in the country.
TJX, which owns U.S. chains Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and Home Goods, plans to sell its 25% stake in Russian apparel retailer Familia. TJX does not have sales in Ukraine or Russia, it said in a regulatory filing. TJX’s stake was worth $186 million before the Russian ruble’s
Visa, Mastercard and American Express
Visa and Mastercard said Saturday that they were suspending their operations in Russia, days afterfor Russian banks targeted by U.S. and European sanctions, and American Express followed suit on Sunday.
Visa and Mastercard’s suspensions were announced within 16 minutes of each other, and they followed abetween President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and U.S. lawmakers. During that conversation, Zelensky “asked us to turn off MasterCard and Visa for Russia,” Representative Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, tweeted. “I agree,” he added, before Mastercard and Visa made their announcements. American Express additionally said Sunday that they would also terminating all business operations in Belarus.
Tech companies also headed for the door, aided by pressure and pleas from Ukrainian government officials.
Apple said it would stop selling its iPhone and other popular devices inside Russia. Apple doesn’t have stores in the country but its products are popular there, sold through many third-party retailers.
The company also suspended Apple Pay systems in Russia and removed Sputnik and RT, two government-backed news organizations, from the App Store outside of Russia. In Ukraine, Apple has limited data-sharing on Apple Maps.
CEO Tim Cook told employees the company would match donations to some relief organizations two-to-one.
Dell Technologies has “suspended” sales in both Ukraine and Russia.
Google has blocked Russian state media channels from its platforms, including the Google Play store. It has suspended Google Pay for customers of sanctions-hit Russian banks, meaning customers of those banks won’t be able to use the mobile payment system.
The company formerly known as Facebook has blocked access to Russian state-controlled outlets across the European Union after it “received requests from a number of Governments and the EU,” the company’s policy head Nick Clegg said on Monday.
TikTok has blocked Russian state media channels from the platform, including RT and Sputnik. On Sunday, TikTok said it would be suspending livestreaming and posting of new content in Russia.
“A smart business proposal”
For many companies, exiting Russia is as much about business as it is about morality.
“It’s really tough to do business in Russia under the best of conditions. Now it’s become just crazy. So getting out is a smart business proposal,” said James O’Rourke, professor of management at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, who specializes in reputation management and business communications.
“This is like going into business with the Manson family,” O’Rourke added referring to the followers of cult leader Charles Manson. “You honestly do not want your name associated with those people, and it’s probably not going to cost you that much to disinvest.
As the war’s human cost grows, companies will have to respond not just to sanctions, but public sentiment, too. Two million people have fled Ukraine as of Thursday, according to the United Nations refugee agency.
Company commitments to environmental, social and corporate governance, known as ESG, are being put to the test. ESG has become a buzzy acronym that’s increasingly seen as an important way for corporations to tout responsible business credentials.
“But there can also be an element of ‘green washing,'” where companies say things that make it seem like they hold certain values or are on the right side of ESG issues while their practices and behavior suggest otherwise, Columbia Business School associate professor Vanessa Burbano said.
“Stakeholders like employees and consumers will want to see if companies’ actions and behaviors are consistent with the communicated support that companies are expressing for Ukrainians,” she said.
Kate Gibson and Irina Ivanova contributed reporting.