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Several Western Companies Reverse Initial Plans To Exit Russia Following the Full-Scale Invasion of Ukraine

Several Western companies, like Avon, Air Liquide, and Reckitt, have reversed their initial plans to exit Russia following the Ukraine invasion. This unexpected move comes amidst growing challenges created by Russia for companies to leave the country and a resurgence of consumer spending in Russia. These companies, along with hundreds of others, have chosen to remain operational in Russia despite the initial announcements of departure.

“Many European companies have found themselves really between a rock and a hard place,” according to an executive working with Western companies in Russia. “They said they’d leave. They were presented with a choice of buyers that were unacceptable to them.”

A recent study by the Kyiv School of Economics reveals, that despite initial announcements of withdrawal, over 2,100 multinational companies continue to do business in Russia since the 2022 invasion. This number stands in contrast to the roughly 1,600 international companies that have either exited the Russian market entirely or significantly scaled back operations.

Additionally, major appliance brands Bosch, Delonghi, and Philips are reportedly having their Ukrainian-market products diverted and sold in Russia, according to the Russian news outlet Kommersant.

According to the report, appliances are being shipped through the Turkish, Polish, and Baltic subsidiaries of foreign vendors, likely in an attempt to maintain their market presence in Russia. Experts believe this redirection is due to a decline in demand for appliances in Ukraine as a result of the ongoing war.

Dmytro Shashkin, CEO of Kuppersberg, confirmed these sales on major Russian online marketplaces like Ozon, Wildberries, and Yandex Market. He stated, “We verified that these appliances were intended for the Ukrainian market. We ordered a Bosch SMV24AX00K dishwasher ourselves through a domestic marketplace, and it arrived with Ukrainian stickers.”

In late April, it became known that major Western banks backtracked on promises to exit Russia after the Ukraine invasion, contributing millions to the Kremlin’s coffers through taxes. Shortly after, The United States issued a direct warning to Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International for its continued operations in Russia.

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