Koch Industries, Nestlé, Renault – Here are the companies under fire from Russian links

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized Nestlé on Saturday for not taking enough action to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, and Nestlé heads a small but mighty list of multinational companies that maintain business operations Russians.

Highlights

Zelensky critical Swiss food giant Nestle for continuing to sell goods in Russia in a video address at a rally in Switzerland, saying, “Business works in Russia even if our children die and our cities are destroyed”, although Nestlé, whose Russian operations account for 2% of total sales, maintains that it only sells essential products and has suspended all advertising and capital investment in the country.

Koch Industriesthe American conglomerate that ranks as the second largest private company in the United States according to Forbes‘ estimates thanks to annual revenue of $ 115 billion, blocked by its subsidiary Guardian Industries which continues to operate its two glass factories in Russia on Wednesday, and Koch chief operating officer Dave Robertson, explained in a declaration the company does not want to abandon its employees in the country “or hand over these manufacturing facilities to the Russian government so that it can operate and benefit from them”.

In addition to Koch Industries, at least 36 other companies have refused to reduce their business activities in Russia, according to a widely cited source. listing compiled by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor at Yale University, which identifies 350 companies as withdrawing from Russia or suspending their activities there.

Swiss creditthe second largest bank in Switzerland, is one of the big companies that has not withdrawn from Russia: its managing director Thomas Gottstein noted On Tuesday, the company “reviews” its commercial relations with Russia, but the company $1.1 billion in exposure to Russia through loans and subsidiaries makes a withdrawal from the bank highly unlikely.

French car manufacturer Renault hasn’t announced any changes to its business in Russia either, and its reliance on the country presents significant challenges: the company has about 40,000 employees in Russia and accounts for about a third of the Russian automotive market, according to to Reuters, and Renault shares have fallen more than 30% since Russia began its war against Ukraine.

British pharmaceutical giant Astra Zeneca East Continue new drug trials in Russia, after rivals Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline said this week they would not start new clinical trials in the country.

Contra

Several notable companies have announced changes to their business dealings with Russia after drawing attention last week for failing to do so as hundreds of other companies announced changes to their operations in the country. Citigroup announcement On Monday, he will “expand the scope” of his exit from Russia beyond his previously announced exit from consumer banking in the country. Tire manufacturers Bridgestone and Pirelli have been slow to announce any changes to their Russian operations, but both announcement the suspension of manufacturing in the country this week.

Surprising fact

Zelensky had avoided naming individual companies for their business dealings with Russia until last Sunday, when he called on tech giants Microsoft, Oracle and SAP to further cut their operations in Russia. In his Saturday speech, Zelensky called on Swiss banks to step up their actions against Russia, saying, “The money of the people who started this war is in your banks. Help fight this,” although Zelensky did not specifically name Credit Suisse or other banks. Switzerland announcement last month it will freeze the assets of people sanctioned by the European Union, but the Swiss Bankers Association estimates Swiss banks hold up to $215 billion worth of Russian money in offshore accounts.

Further reading

Multinationals continue to sell to Russia under increasing pressure to take stronger measures (Forbes)

Verizon, Pfizer, Deutsche Bank—Here are the companies cutting ties with Russia following the invasion of Ukraine (Forbes)

Zelensky Urges Companies—Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle—To Punish Russia More (Forbes)

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