Apple, Volkswagen, BMW, Spotify, Ford, Volvo, Honda, IKEA, Nike, Disney, Galp and the like: it’s all coming out of Russia

From the technological sector to fashion, through cinema and aviation, many multinationals have said goodbye to the Russian market.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, precisely a week ago, hundreds of global brands have already announced the withdrawal or suspension of economic activities in Russia.

In the technology sector, Apple announced on Tuesday that it would stop selling its products in Russia, as well as limiting certain services – such as Apple Pay. The software companies SAP and Oracle also announced the end of all their operations in Russia, in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and the German brand went further, by making its offices in the European Union available for the reception of refugees. Spotify also sanctioned Russia, closing its offices in the country.

The car manufacturers Volkswagen and BMW were the first brands in this sector to suspend both production in Russia and exports to the country. The Americans Ford and General Motors, which own brands such as Chevrolet and Cadillac, followed the same path, as did the Swedish Volvo and the Japanese Toyota, Mazda and Honda.

Also overnight, the oil company BP decided to sell its shares in Russian Rosneft after the “act of aggression against Ukraine”. The British company held 19.75% of the company’s shares, around 22 billion euros. Shell also decided to terminate all operations it had in Russia, including the Nordstream 2 pipeline and the projects in partnership with Gazprom.

In aviation, both Boeing, Airbus and Embraer announced the suspension of support and maintenance for Russian airlines’ aircraft, as well as the sale of replacement parts. But perhaps one of the biggest impacts was the closure of all Swedish IKEA stores in Russia and Belarus, leaving around 15,000 people unemployed.

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The fashion world has also cut ties with Russia. Adidas has suspended its partnership with the Russian Football Federation, while Nike has suspended all sales to Russia. H&M, for its part, closed all its stores in Russia and suspended sales to the territory.

The film world has also penalized Russia for the invasion decreed by Putin. Disney, Sony and WarnerBros have suspended the release of their new movies in theaters across the country. For its part, Netflix announced that it would not comply with the new Russian audiovisual law, which would oblige the brand to have close to 20 public channels on its platform in order to operate.

Payment processors Visa, Mastercard and Amex, in line with sanctions imposed by the West, blocked several entities from their networks. In turn, the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, decided to end investments in 47 Russian companies, as well as in Russian government bonds.

Among the Portuguese brands, Prio and Galp stand out, which stopped importing Russian oil products in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and Jerónimo Martins, which removed from the shelves of its supermarkets in Poland, under the Biedronka brand, all products Russians and Belarusians.