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Russia-Ukraine invasion: Companies that backed out of Russia

As the war enters its 14th day many companies worldwide have backed out of Russia over the invasion in Ukraine.

The news: Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many international companies, including Apple, Disney, and Ford, are scaling back their operations in the country.

  • Exxon (XOM) announced the termination of its final Russian project, while Boeing announced the suspension of major operations in Moscow.
  • Other global energy companies, such as BP (BP) and Shell (RDSA), have taken similar steps. In addition, entertainment studios such as Disney and WarnerMedia, the parent company of CNN, have stopped releasing movies in the country.

What happened: Ford announced that the company will suspend its operations in Russia. The company has plants in St. Petersburg, Elabuga, and Naberezhnye Chelny, but it has said that its Russian operations have been significantly reduced in recent years. The automaker expressed its deep concern about the situation in Ukraine, noting that it employs a large number of Ukrainian nationals around the world.

  • Toyota said it would stop producing and importing cars in Russia “until further notice” due to supply chain disruptions.
  • Volkswagen has halted vehicle production in Russia and halted exports to the Russian market. The ruling affects the Russian manufacturing facilities in Kaluga and Nizhny Novgorod.
  • Nissan has halted vehicle exports to Russia, stating that “production at our plant in St. Petersburg is expected to halt soon.”
  • Apple products are no longer available in Russia. The tech giant expressed its deep concern about the Russian invasion in a statement. As a result, Apple has taken steps to restrict access to digital services such as Apple Pay within Russia, as well as the availability of Russian state media apps outside the country.

What they said: Meta (Facebook) 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.

  • Similarly, Twitter has stated that it will “reduce the visibility and amplification” of Russian state media content.
  • Netflix said it will be suspending its streaming service in Russia. 
  • Spotify informed that they have closed their office in Russia indefinitely and have restricted shows that are owned and operated by Russian state-affiliated media.
  • YouTube said it has blocked Russian state media within Ukraine, including RT. 
  • Google and YouTube have also said they will no longer allow Russian state media outlets to run ads or monetize their content.
  • Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said in a tweet that his company was suspending all operations in Russia and Belarus.
  • Intel has also 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. 
  • 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.
  • Amazon Web Services said on 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.”
  • Disney is also suspending the release of its theatrical films in Russia. The entertainment giant had multiple films set for release in Russia in the coming months. “We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation,” a Disney spokesperson said.
  • On Wednesday, Russia warned the West that it was planning a broad response to sanctions that would be swift and felt in the most sensitive areas of the West. 
  • RIA news agency reported “Russia’s reaction will be swift, thoughtful and sensitive for those it addresses,” Dmitry Birichevsky, the director of the foreign ministry’s department for economic cooperation.

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