Company after company is turning its back on Russia, but for how long?

Company after company is turning its back on Russia, but for how long?

The shipbuilder Damen Shipyards no longer supplies ships to Russia, fashion brands Zara, Pull & Bear and Bershka have closed more than 500 Russian branches and the Paypal payment service no longer provides its services in Russia. It is the latest addition to a long list of companies that have partially or completely severed ties with Russia.

Meanwhile, dozens of companies have announced that they will partially withdraw from the country, such as the Heineken brewery, which no longer exports beer to Russia and is no longer making new investments. The company’s Russian breweries will continue to operate. Or Shell, which at the beginning of the week announced the sale of its investments in Russia, and Samsung and Apple, which no longer want to supply products.

“The impact is massive,” says Jeron Keating. He is an entrepreneur and helps other Dutch entrepreneurs to do business in Russia. “Apart from food, Russia imports almost all goods that have some added value. Since the 2014 sanctions, Russia has been largely self-sufficient in food, but not at all technologically.”


Some companies have been outspoken, such as Shell, describing the war in Ukraine as a senseless act of military aggression. Others say it is also impractical to trade with Russia now, for example because of sanctions. “Moving money, people, and goods is very difficult,” says Ketting.

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