Russia news: 4 companies still operating in Russia – why are they open?

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Since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine nearly three weeks ago, a number of well known global brands have ceased operations throughout Russia. Companies such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Apple have all shut-up shop, but some firms still have stores open for business.

Today, branches of M&S and Burger King remain open, as do hotels operated by Accor and Marriott.

However, the companies behind them have said there is little they can do to change the current situation.

As they do not directly own the stores, the companies claimed they are unable to close their operations in Russia.

Instead they are working under complex franchise and licensing arrangements.

According to the BBC, the companies have around 1,000 outlets operating under their names in Russia.

A Turkish company which bought the naming rights and licence to sell M&S products owns 48 stores of the British brand alone. The majority of these shops are based in Moscow.

M&S has said it’s stopped supplying the company as a response to the war.

In a statement, the London-listed retail company added: “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 £1.5 million package to support the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and Unicef to help children and families in need.

“This is made up of a kickstart £500,000 donation to UNHCR with a further £500,000 for matched fundraising for all our global colleagues and double donations on Sparks transactions to support Unicef, and activation of till-point and online giving in the UK.

“We are also providing practical help through UNHCR, donating 20,000 units of coats and thermals for families in need, totalling a further £500,000.”

Meanwhile, there are 800 franchised Burger King restaurants still operating across Russia.

The company has said this is because of “long-standing legal agreements [which] are not easily changeable in the foreseeable future”.

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To support humanitarian efforts, Burger King is redirecting profits from its operations in Russia.

Marriott has also said its hotels in Russia are operated by a third-party, and it’s exploring what it can do.

The organisation has halted Russian hotel developments and investments, as well as closing its corporate offices.

Elsewhere, Accor has suspended all future hotel openings and bookings to people who have been sanctioned by the West.

Which companies have turned their backs on Russia?

Western countries have responded to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine by waging economic war on the Kremlin.

Food and drink companies, such as McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, KFC and Heineken, have all ceased operations in Russia.

Apple has imposed a number of measures, banning sales on their products in the country and ceasing all exports into their sales channel.

A host of clothing and luxury fashion companies have announced they would pause all sales, including H&M, Burberry, Canada Goose, Chanel, Prada, Hermès, Dior, Givency, Fendi, and Bulgari.

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