List reveals businesses still operating in Russia


A man walks past t-shirts with images of Russian President Vladimir Putin at a gift shop in downtown Moscow on February 16, 2022. – Russian officials and the Kremlin on Wednesday were making fun of Western broadcasters for running with February 16 as the “invasion date” for when Russian could attack Ukraine. (Photo by ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – Amid Russia’s ongoing attack against its Ukrainian neighbor, many Western businesses have voluntarily joined the effort to strip Russian President Vladimir Putin of financial resources – but others continue to do business in the country.

To help keep track of where businesses stand in Russia, Yale University professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and his research team created two running lists – one with nearly 400 businesses that have changed their dealings with Russia, and a shorter one showing the businesses that haven’t.

“Despite the cost of abandoning major investments and the loss of business, there is a strong reputational incentive to withdraw,” Sonnenfeld wrote in an article for Fortune. “Companies that fail to withdraw face a wave of U.S. public resentment far greater than what they face on climate change, voting rights, gun safety, immigration reform, or border security.”

Three major U.S. companies that were working with Russia as usual last week – McDonald’s, Starbucks and Coca-Cola – all suspended business amid mounting pressure.

As of Friday, March 18, these are the companies remaining in Russia with significant exposure, according to Sonnenfeld:

  • Accor
  • Air Products
  • AstraZeneca
  • Asus
  • Auchan
  • Baker Hughes
  • Bose
  • Cloudflare
  • DDB
  • Decathlon
  • Emerson Electric
  • Fortiv
  • Glencore
  • Greif
  • Gruma
  • Halliburton
  • International Paper
  • IPG Photonics
  • Koch Industries
  • Leroy Merlin
  • Metro
  • Nalco
  • Oriflame Cosmetics
  • SC Johnson
  • Schlumberger
  • Subway
  • Weatherford International
  • Young Living

“In the days since we initially published our list, many of the ‘remain’ companies have responded to public backlash and decided to withdraw, and we are continuously revising our list to reflect these decisions as they are made,” the research team at the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute stated in a news release.

Subway, one of the businesses Sonnenfeld describes as “digging in – defying demands for exit or reduction of activities,” issued a statement saying that its roughly 450 sandwich shops in Russia “are all independently owned and operated by local franchisees and managed by an independent master franchisee,” but that the company would “redirect any profits from operations in Russia to humanitarian efforts supporting Ukrainians who have been affected by the war.”

During the March 8 announcement of the U.S. ban on Russian oil, President Joe Biden acknowledged the actions of private businesses.

“Major companies are pulling out of Russia entirely, without even being asked – not by us,” Biden said. “Over the weekend, Visa, Mastercard, American Express – they all suspended their services in Russia. All of them.”

Since Russia invaded Ukraine the ruble has fallen roughly 40% against the dollar amid crippling sanctions.

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