26.Jan .2023 21:00

Major German brands still active in Russia despite sanctions, military support for Ukraine

Major German brands still active in Russia despite sanctions, military support for Ukraine
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Despite Western sanctions on Moscow and suspension announcements from many countries and companies due to the Ukraine war, a majority of German companies, included major brands and household names, remain active in Russia.

On the one hand, Germany provides military support to Ukraine, yet on the other, German firms continue to do business in Russia.

A recent report from Switzerland’s St. Gallen University showed that only 8.5% of EU and G-7 companies have withdrawn from Russia.

Research by the US’ Yale University also showed that 19 German firms are continuing business as usual in Russia, 18 postponed future planned investments while continuing substantive business, and 20 are scaling back some significant business operations but continuing others.

Thirty-nine German firms have temporarily curtailed most or nearly all operations while keeping return options open, while 31 firms have exited the country, the research showed.

Last March, soon after the war began, wholesale giant Metro released a statement condemning "Russia's attack on Ukraine" but stated that it will continue its operations in Russia.

"The decision was not made easily and after careful internal review. The company also has responsibility for 10,000 colleagues there, and many people buy their food from us," said the company, which is based in Dusseldorf.

Meanwhile, Metro has stopped growth activities and cut down on ad buys in Russia.

German automotive firm Continental, which makes brake systems, interior electronics, and tires, stopped its operations in Russia last March but the following month, it announced a restart, asserting it wanted to protect its local staffers.

"In order to protect our employees in Russia from prosecution, we are temporarily resuming the production of passenger tires for the local market at our tire plant in Kaluga if necessary," it stated.

Technology, snacks, health care, candies

Engineering and technology giant Bosch is still active in Russia but it is looking for a buyer to sell its assets in the country to exit because German authorities are investigating the firm.

Germany's Economy Ministry has launched an investigation into whether Bosch violated an export ban on goods that can be used for both civilian and military purposes. Bosch is looking for buyers for its Russian assets.

Snack producer Ritter Sport is also still active in Russia, but the company previously announced that it aims to donate profits from its Russian operations to Ukraine.

IT firm AnyDesk is continuing to do business in the country as usual without any measures.

Healthcare firm B. Braun has also not taken any measures to reduce or suspend its activities in Russia.

Healthcare giant Bayer suspended unspecified non-essential business activity but it is still active in the country.

Construction machine and engine producer and provider Zeppelin Group previously said it may have to exit Russia but so far there has been no withdrawal decision.

Agricultural machinery producer Claas is continuing its business in Russia as usual.

Consumer discretionary firm BPW is still cooperating with dealers in Russia, with no sign of it cutting back or exiting.

Medical care firm Fresenius is still continuing its operations in the country as usual.

Siemens' healthcare subsidiary Siemens Healthineers has also not announced any suspension of business in Russia and is still active in the country.

Famous candy producer Storck has resumed selling sweets in Russia.

Leading construction material provider Knauf suspended its new investments in Russia but remains active in many Russian cities.

Healthcare and chemical firm Merck has restricted some transactions but it is still operating and actively hiring in Russia, AA reports.