Dozens of major companies have cut ties with Russia in an act of solidarity against Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine.
British Gas owner Centrica has said it will end all gas supply agreements with Russia, including Gazprom, in a stand against the country’s war on Ukraine.
It comes after a number of UK energy companies, including BP and Shell, moved to sever their ties to Russia due to the ongoing conflict.
London-listed Centrica said it currently has a medium-term contract with Gazprom Marketing and Trading, the Russian energy giant’s UK entity, through which gas can be sourced from the open market.
Chris O’Shea, chief executive officer of Centrica, said: “We are shocked by the events unfolding in Ukraine and the needless loss of lives.
“We intend to exit our gas supply agreements with Russian counterparts, principally Gazprom, as a matter of urgency.
“We are working through the details of how best to do this. Additionally we will ensure we are compliant with all relevant sanctions.”
On Monday evening, Shell announced plans to sell its stake in all joint ventures with Russian partner Gazprom, calling Russia’s invasion of the country “senseless” and a threat to European security
It came after BP said it would divest its £25billion dollar stake in Rosneft, where it owned a 20% shareholding and held two board seats.
Several more firms have cut ties with Russia over Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch missiles on Ukraine in the past week.
Here are all the companies that have ceased dealings with Russia since the war broke.
John Lewis has withdrawn all products made in Russia from shelves.
A statement said: “The John Lewis Partnership is removing from sale products in Waitrose and John Lewis that are made in Russia.
“This means that, from today, we will no longer sell two products – one Russian Vodka in Waitrose and one line of pizza oven pellets in John Lewis.
“We’re working with our suppliers to review products that have components of Russian origin and will be seeking to mitigate further exposure to the region.”
Sainsbury’s has announced it is removing all products that are 100% sourced from Russia from its stores.
From today (March 4) the supermarket will no longer sell Russian Standard vodka and Karpayskiye black sunflower seeds.
Morrisons and the Co-op have also removed Russian Standard vodka from branches across the UK.
Airbnb has suspended all operations in Russia and Belarus.
Russia currently has 90,000 active short-term rentals available on Airbnb, according to market research firm AirDNA.
Brian Chesky, the company’s chief executive and founder, said earlier this week that the company would house 100,000 Ukrainians forced to flee their homes due to the fighting, adding that it would waive all fees on bookings in the country.
Mr Chesky has said that “all things are on the table” in response to Russian aggression towards Ukraine.
Separately, users of Airbnb have started to book rentals in Ukraine as a gesture of financial support for the country’s embattled citizens – despite not intending to travel there.
Online payments giant PayPal has stopped accepting new users in Russia.
PayPal had already blocked some users and some of the country’s biggest banks following sanctions by the United States and other countries in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s deputy minister for digital transformation Alexander Bornyakov called on PayPal to take more sweeping action and shut down entirely in Russia.
“If PayPal supports democratic values, it should go out from Russia”.
The PayPal spokesperson said the company, like many of its peers, is still actively navigating the implications of sanctions.
Co-op Food has removed Russian-made vodka from sale in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russian Standard vodka has been taken off sale “with immediate effect” as the brand is “overtly marketed as being Russian” and is produced in the country, a spokesman said.
He said: “In response to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces and as a sign of solidarity with the people of Ukraine, we have taken the decision to remove from sale Russian-made vodka.
“A Polish distilled alternative will be sold in our stores in its place. Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, and those in Russia who oppose this invasion.”
Morrisons also confirmed it has de-listed Russian Standard vodka from its supermarkets, in solidarity with Ukraine.
When The Mirror checked Morrisons’ website this morning, the product had already been removed from sale with a notice that reads: “We no longer stock this item.”
Russian Standard is distilled in St Petersburg and was brought to the UK market in 1998.
H&M has temporarily suspended all sales in Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine.
The world’s second-biggest retailer said it was concerned about the developments in Ukraine on Wednesday.
In an official statement, the Swedish retailer said it stands “with all the people who are suffering”.
On Wednesday evening, H&M’s Russian English-language website was unavailable for customers to place orders.
The retailer currently has more than 150 stores in Russia, according to its 2020 annual report, which will all now be shuttered due to the conflict.
Marks & Spencer today said it had stopped supplying goods to its FIBA franchise stores in Russia.
FiBA Group has worked in partnership with Marks & Spencer since 1999 and operates M&S stores in Turkey, Russia and Ukraine.
A statement said: “Given the unfolding humanitarian crisis following the invasion of Ukraine, M&S has suspended shipments to our Turkish franchisee’s Russian business.
“We are doing everything we can to support the people of Ukraine and in response to the growing refugee crisis, we are building on our existing support for UNICEF UK’s Ukraine appeal with a £1.5m package to support the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and UNICEF to help children and families in need.”
British Gas owner Centrica has become the third big British energy firm to cut ties with Russia within a week, echoing BP and Shell by announcing the end of its gas supply agreement with Kremlin-controlled Gazprom.
Gazprom supplies gas to Centrica, which it then sells to British households. The agreement is understood to account for a fraction of what Centrica supplies to its customers in Britain.
German sportswear company Adidas suspended its partnership with the Russian Football Union (RFS) on Tuesday.
The company has served as the country’s kit manufacturer since 2008, designing the shirts for their home World Cup in 2018.
The decision came after several sports bodies announced plans to cut ties to Russian-affiliated bodies or companies as the death toll continues to escalate in Ukraine.
Wetherspoons has stopped selling bottles of Baltika Lager, because of its affiliations with Russia.
The beer, which is brewed in St Petersburg, the birthplace of Vladimir Putin, has been axed in all 870 boozers.
All bottles of the Russian beer – which cost £2.99 – will be returned to distributor Carlsberg.
Wetherspoons said: “In light of the situation in Ukraine we just felt that we could not stock it anymore. “As of today all those beers won’t be available in any Wetherspoons pub and either have been or are in the process of being returned to the Carlsberg distributor.
“We are not implying in any way that anyone involved with the brewery is directly involved with what’s going on but we thought in light of the current situation our pubs don’t want to be serving Russian beers.”
On Monday, BP announced plans to offload its 19.75% stake in state-owned Russian oil giant Rosneft “with immediate effect” following the invasion of Ukraine.
The firm’s chief executive Bernard Looney also resigned from Rosneft’s board along with its other Rosneft director, Bob Dudley.
The statement said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “caused us to fundamentally rethink BP’s position with Rosneft”.
BP has held the shareholding in the Russian company since 2013.
Apple has paused all product sales in Russia in response to the country’s attacks on Ukraine.
The tech giant was said it was “deeply concerned” about the Russian invasion and stands with those “suffering as a result of the violence”.
Apple Pay and other services such as Apple Maps have also been limited.
Apple said: “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. Advertisement
“We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all we can to support our teams in the region.”
Oil corporation Shell this week announced plans to end all of its joint ventures with Russian energy company Gazprom.
The move will include the oil giant’s 27.5% stake in a major liquefied natural gas plant.
Shell’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, said the company was “shocked by the loss of life in Ukraine”.
Shell will quit the flagship Sakhalin II facility, which is 50% owned and operated by Gazprom.
It will also sell its 50% stake in two Siberian oilfield projects, as well as end its involvement in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, which it helped finance among a mix of other companies. The 1,200km pipeline under the Baltic Sea had already been put on hold by German ministers.
In a statement issued on Monday, Shell said that it expected the move, which will also apply to any “related entities” to Gazprom, would be worth about £2.2billion.
UK bars ditch Russian vodka
A host of UK bars and hospitality firms have stopped the sale of Russian vodka in a move of solidarity with citizens in Ukraine.
Arc Inspirations, the chain behind the Box, Banyan and Manahatta bars, has stopped pouring Russian vodka globally.
Nightcap Group, which is owned by a former Dragon’s Den entrepreneur, has also terminated sales of Russian vodka.
Owner Sarah Willingham described the move as a ‘little thing’ the business could do in response to the conflict.
Ms Willingham said: “The devastation in Ukraine is heartbreaking, and I cannot start to comprehend what it must be like for the people of Ukraine. ‘It’s hard to sit here in our warm safe homes and do nothing.
“We have donated money, but from a business point of view we (the senior team and the staff) wanted to do something, anything, to show our support and so therefore we have removed all Russian vodka and alcohol from our bars across the whole of the Nightcap estate.
“It’s a little thing but the more little things we do, the bigger the impact will be.”
Compare the Market
Compare the Market has launched a review into its meerkat advertising campaign to ensure it is not played around news bulletins reporting on the Ukraine war.
The price comparison website said that it was examining its marketing and would be “sensitive” to when it plays the adverts, which feature a Russian meerkat named Aleksandr Orlov.
The character has been described as a billionaire from Moscow who lives in a South London mansion.
A spokesman for Compare the Market said: “The meerkats are fictional characters and not associated with Russia and the current situation. But we’re looking at our marketing to make sure we’re being sensitive and it doesn’t show up in inappropriate places.”
Compare the Market launched the campaign featuring the meerkat, whose catchphrase is “simples”, in 2009.
Disney, Warner and Sony
Disney is pausing all movie releases in Russia, including the upcoming Pixar film Turning Red, citing the “unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis”.
“We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation,” Disney said on Monday.
“In the meantime, given the scale of the emerging refugee crisis, we are working with our NGO partners to provide urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance.”
Turning Red, a family film about a girl who turns into a red panda when she is excited, had been set to premiere in Russia on 10 March.
A few hours after Disney’s decision was announced, Warner Bros said: “In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film The Batman in Russia. We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy.”
Following Disney and Warner Bros, Sony Pictures announced it would also pause all its releases in Russia, including Morbius, which stars Jared Leto as the Marvel antihero and was set to open on 24 March.
“Given the ongoing military action in Ukraine and the resulting uncertainty and humanitarian crisis unfolding in that region, we will be pausing our planned theatrical releases in Russia, including the upcoming release of Morbius,” a Sony Pictures spokesperson said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been impacted and hope this crisis will be resolved quickly.”
Other Warner Bros films due to be released in Russia soon included Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore on 14 April, and the animated DC League of Super-Pets on 19 May.
FA and Fifa
The Football Association has suspended all matches against Russia due to the war in Ukraine. It comes as Fifa stripped Russia of the right to host matches.
A number of footballing bodies have condemned Russia’s attacks in the past week.
In a statement, the FA said: “Out of solidarity with the Ukraine and to wholeheartedly condemn the atrocities being committed by the Russian leadership, The FA can confirm that we won’t play against Russia in any international fixtures for the foreseeable future. This includes any potential match at any level of senior, age group or para football.”
Poland, Sweden and Czech Republic have all refused to play in Russia.
“The military escalation that we are observing entails serious consequences and considerable lower safety for our national football teams and official delegations,” a joint statement from the three teams said.
“Therefore we expect Fifa and Uefa to react immediately and to present alternative solutions regarding places where these approaching play-off matches could be played.”
This season’s Champions League final has been moved from St Petersburg to Stade de France in Saint-Denis.
The final of Europe’s most prestigious club competition was due to be played in St Petersburg on 28 May.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Formula 1 Grand Prix, due to take place in Sochi in September, has been cancelled.
F1 says it is “impossible” to hold the event in “the current circumstances”.
International sports federations should move or cancel their sports events currently planned in Russia or Belarus, the International Olympic Committee said.
Volvo has suspended shipments of cars and heavy goods vehicles to Russia in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Swedish car manufacturer cited the “potential risks associated with trading material with Russia, including the sanctions imposed by the EU and US” as a factor in the decision.
The firm did not give a time frame for when sales would resume, saying only that “Volvo Cars will not deliver any cars to the Russian market until further notice”.
Volvo sold 9,000 cars in Russia last year, importing them from factories in Sweden, China and the US. The overall Volvo Group makes 3% of its global sales in Russia.
Its commercial vehicle sister company, AB Volvo, has also ceased all production and sales in Russia.
The firm builds Volvo and Renault-badged HGVs at a plant in Kaluga, around 100 miles from Moscow, which has been in operation since 2009 and employs some 700 workers.
Netflix has refused to broadcast Russian state propaganda, in the face of a law that comes into effect in the country on 1 March.
The law requires streaming services with more than 100,000 daily users to carry 20 major Russian federal television channels, many of which broadcast Kremlin propaganda.
“Given the current situation we have no plans to add these channels to our service,” a Netflix spokesperson said.
MasterCard and Visa
Visa and MasterCard have both blocked a number of Russian financial institutions from their networks, dealing another heavy blow to the country’s economy.
The move complies with US sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine last week.
Visa and MasterCard together handle 90% of all debit and credit card payments outside of China.
“We will continue to work with regulators in the days ahead to abide fully by our compliance obligations as they evolve,” Mastercard said in a statement on Monday night.
The US has compiled a list of sanctioned entities, including Russia’s central bank and its second-largest lender, that Visa is required to suspend from its network.
Since 2015, Russia has been building an alternative payment network that does not rely on Visa or MasterCard.
Mir, as it is called, only has a market share of around 30% in Russia however, according to the country’s central bank.
Nike Inc has suspended all online and app sales in Russia, stating that it cannot guarantee delivery of goods to customers in the country in a statement online.
The update on Nike’s website, however, directed its customers to their nearest Nike stores, suggesting branches are still trading as normal.
Online fashion retailer Asos has stopped shipping goods to Russia and shoppers are currently unable to process any orders on its website.
An Asos spokeswoman said:“ASOS’ priority is the safety of its colleagues and partners in Ukraine and Russia.
“ASOS’ priority is the safety of its colleagues and partners in Ukraine and Russia. Immediately following the invasion, ASOS suspended sales in Ukraine as it became impossible to serve customers there.
“Against the backdrop of the continuing war, ASOS has decided that it is neither practical nor right to continue to trade in Russia, and has, therefore, today suspended sales there. Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and all those affected in the region.”
Ikea has confirmed it will pause all retail operations in Russia in an update on March 3.
The move is expected to affect around 15,000 workers across 14 Ikea stores across the country.
Ikea has also confirmed it will stop all exports and imports in and out of both Russia and Belarus.
“The devastating war in Ukraine is a human tragedy, and our deepest empathy and concerns are with the millions of people impacted,” the company said in a statement.
“The immediate actions of Inter IKEA Group and Ingka Group have been to support the personal safety and security of IKEA co-workers and their families, and we will continue to do so.”