Here Are the Biggest Companies Distancing Themselves From Russia

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As governments around the world have responded to the Ukraine crisis with sanctions and attempts to put pressure on oligarchs, an increasing number of businesses are taking steps to limit their relationships with Russia.

Consumer-focused companies Apple and IKEA have suspended sales and exports of products to the country, while energy giants BP and Shell said they would end joint ventures with state-owned Russian companies.

Here’s a roundup of the biggest companies limiting ties with Russia so far:

Oil majors

BP was the first major oil company to announce changes to its business relationships in Russia in response to the crisis. The company said on Feb. 27 that it would sell its 19.75% stake in Russian energy company Rosneft. BP is reportedly considering selling its stake back to Russian state-controlled Rosneft at a huge discount, amid concerns it will struggle to find another buyer in the current political climate, according to Bloomberg.

The British company’s chair Helge Lund said in a statement: “BP has operated in Russia for over 30 years, working with brilliant Russian colleagues. However, this military action represents a fundamental change. It has led the BP board to conclude, after a thorough process, that our involvement with Rosneft, a state-owned enterprise, simply cannot continue.”

Rosneft accounts for around half of BP’s oil and gas reserves and a third of its production, according to a Reuters report. Divesting the stake could cost the company up to $25 billion, the British company said.

Shell took similar action to BP on Feb. 28, announcing its decision to exit its joint ventures with Russian state energy firm Gazprom and “related entities,” which are worth about $3 billion in total. Shell said it also intends to end its involvement in Nord Stream 2, a 745-mile gas pipeline connecting Germany to Russia, owned by Nord Stream 2 AG, a Switzerland-based company that is a subsidiary of Gazprom.

A company spokesperson told TIME that, while Shell is adapting to the constantly changing situation, it has to balance its moral duties with the need to maintain energy security in the countries it supplies. Russia supplies around 40% of the E.U.’s gas needs, and cutting those sources off could exacerbate the cost of living crisis in the region. This is why the company is only exiting joint ventures with Russian state-backed entities, rather than all projects in the country, the spokesperson said.

The company said in a statement: “In discussion with governments around the world, we will also work through the detailed business implications, including the importance of secure energy supplies to Europe and other markets, in compliance with relevant sanctions.”

Meanwhile, U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil announced March 1 it would exit the $4 billion Sakhalin-1 offshore oil and gas project that it operates on behalf of an international consortium of Japanese, Indian and Russian companies. The company also said it would halt new investment in Russia.

“As operator of Sakhalin-1, we have an obligation to ensure the safety of people, protection of the environment and integrity of operations,” the company said in a statement. “The process to discontinue operations will need to be carefully managed and closely coordinated with the co-venturers in order to ensure it is executed safely.”

The Sakhalin-1 group had been advancing plans to add a multi-billion-dollar liquefied natural gas export terminal at the site, whose future is now in doubt.


U.S. airplane manufacturer Boeing said March 1 it was suspending the supply of aircraft parts and maintenance to Russian airlines. A day later, European aerospace firm Airbus followed suit.

Planes made by both manufacturers account for nearly two-thirds of the Russian fleet, according to a Reuters report citing Cirium Fleets data.

Consumer products

Tech giant Apple announced March 1 it had paused all product sales in Russia and limited Apple Pay and other services. The state-backed news outlets, RT News and Sputnik News are also no longer available to download on the App Store outside of Russia.

“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence,” the company said in a statement to the media. “We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all we can to support our teams in the region.”

In the automotive sector, U.S.-based Ford, German manufacturers Volkswagen and BMW and Japan’s Honda have all taken steps to distance themselves from Russia.

Ford announced March 1 that it was ending a joint venture in Russia, while BMW will stop exporting to Russia and stop production at its Kaliningrad facility. Volkswagen said March 3 that vehicle exports to Russia will be stopped with “immediate effect,” and Honda halted exports of cars and motorcycles to Russia on March 2.

One of the world’s biggest furniture brands, IKEA, announced March 3 that it was closing all its stores in Russia and pausing all sourcing in Belarus, making it one of the first companies to extend restrictions to Russia’s ally.

“These decisions have a direct impact on 15,000 IKEA co-workers,” a company statement said. “The ambitions of the company groups are long term and we have secured employment and income stability for the immediate future and provide support to them and their families in the region.”


The Walt Disney Company said Feb. 28 it was pausing movie theater releases in Russia, citing “the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.”

The Hollywood giant reportedly had several movies set for release in Russia over the next few months, including Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 5 and Pixar’s Lightyear on June 16, according to CNN.

Warner Studios also halted the release of The Batman in Russian movie theaters, while Sony paused the release of Marvel adaptation Morbius.

Netflix has paused all projects and acquisitions from Russia including four Russian originals in production, according to Variety. The streaming platform also said it would not be adding Russian state news channels, despite local regulation requiring it to do so, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Financial and professional services

Visa and MasterCard, which together handle 90% of all debit and credit card payments outside of China, said Feb. 28 that they were blocking a number of Russian banks from their payment networks to comply with international sanctions.

The U.S. has compiled a list of sanctioned entities, including Russia’s central bank and its second-largest lender VTB, forcing Visa to suspend the bank from its network, according to Reuters.

While American Express said its business in Russia was “small,” it also decided to block the sanctioned banks.

On March 1, Grant Thornton became the first large professional services firm to cut ties with its 500-person Russian member firm, which audits state oil company Gazprom.

The Big Four accountants, Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC, are still operating in the country, but have released statements condemning the war. Combined, the firms employ more than 13,000 people in Russia, roughly 1.1% of their global workforce, according to the Financial Times.

“We cannot comment on specific companies or individuals but PwC takes compliance with applicable sanctions very seriously,” the company told TIME in a statement. “We monitor sanctions developments on a real time basis to stay up to date with the latest changes and we then act accordingly.”

KPMG said in a statement to TIME that it condemned the Russian government’s invasion of Ukraine and supported the Ukrainian people, and that it would be “fully adhering to the sanctions introduced by various governments, which hopefully will contribute to bringing an end to this crisis.”

Deloitte and EY did not immediately respond to TIME’s requests for comment, but both companies have condemned Russia’s actions.

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