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H&M, Oracle and video game maker EA add corporate condemnation of Russia

H&M, Oracle and video game maker EA add corporate condemnation of Russia
  • Oracle shuts down operations after tweet from Ukrainian official
  • US, EU roll out new sanctions, focus on Belarus
  • Automakers struggle to get enough spare parts from Ukraine

March 2 (Reuters) – Netflix, fashion outlet H&M, technology company Oracle and several other companies halted business in Russia on Wednesday over the attack on Ukraine, while the United States imposed new sanctions and a Ukrainian official clarified to Reuters plans to stoke support for the companies.

Variety reported that Netflix has paused new projects in Russia, while H&M has paused all sales there and Oracle has said it has suspended all operations.

Oracle’s announcement on Twitter came about three hours after Ukraine’s Minister for Digital Transformation tweeted to the company seeking support. Deputy Minister Alexander Bornyakov told Reuters that Ukraine has requested assistance from 50 different companies as part of a strategy to isolate Russia and push citizens to turn against their government. “More sanctions are imposed and peace will return faster,” Borinakov said. Read more

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On Wednesday, the United States expanded these sanctions, imposing export controls to Belarus, which is the base of some of the Russian attacks on Ukraine.

The new sanctions also prohibit the export of specific refining technologies, making refinery modernization more expensive for Russia.

“The United States will take action to hold Belarus accountable for enabling (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, weakening Russia’s defense sector and military power for years to come, targeting Russia’s most important source of wealth, and banning entry to Russian airlines,” the White House said. Read more

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The European Union also expanded its ban to 70% of Belarus’ exports to the bloc. Read more

In recent days, global brands including Shell, Apple and Boeing have cut ties or halted sales in Russia, often with unrestrained condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow, which has described Russia’s actions in Ukraine as a “special operation,” has responded to the growing exodus of Western investors by temporarily restricting sales of Russian assets by foreigners.

However, the list of goods, both consumer and industrial, that will no longer be sold in Russia is increasing day by day.

Winter clothing maker Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS.TO) On Wednesday, it said it would suspend all wholesale and e-commerce sales to Russia, while video game maker Electronic Arts removed Russian teams from its FIFA 22 soccer and NHL 22 hockey games. Read more

The measures taken by the West caused the ruble to fall and forced the Central Bank to raise interest rates. They also made it impossible for many companies to do business in the country.

Mercedes-Benz Group (MBGn.DE) It said on Wednesday it would suspend exports of passenger cars and vans to Russia as well as domestic manufacturing, following similar measures but global automakers including Ford and BMW. Read more

don’t leave

Since the fall of communism, Russia, especially the younger generation, has embraced global brands, travel abroad, and social media. Deepening its economic isolation threatens to put some of these changes in reverse, cutting off an important market for international companies.

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In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden said that Putin “has no idea what’s to come” as he joined European nations and Canada in closing US airspace to Russian aircraft. Read more

And in the aviation sector, General Electric said on Wednesday it had temporarily stopped subsidizing airlines in Russia. Read more Boeing the day before suspended maintenance and technical support for Russian airlines, while rival Airbus halted parts deliveries, hampering the industry in Russia. Read more

In terms of sourcing in the market, automakers such as Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE)BMW and Porsche are struggling to get hold of critical wires as suppliers in western Ukraine have been shut down by the Russian invasion, forcing them to scale back production. Read more

“Due to supply bottlenecks, there will be disruptions in our production,” BMW said in a statement. “We are in extensive discussions with our suppliers.”

and video game maker Motorsport Games Inc (MSGM.O) He said that sanctions against Russia may delay the release of racing game developer titles in the future, because a large part of its development team has its headquarters in Russia.

Meanwhile, Russian companies have felt increasing pressure. Sberbank (SBER.MM)Russia’s largest bank said on Wednesday it is leaving the European market because its subsidiaries have faced large cash outflows, adding that the safety of its employees and property is under threat. Read more

Meanwhile, regulators are preparing for a possible shutdown of the European arm of Russia’s second largest bank, VTB Bank (VTBR.MM)Sources told Reuters it was because of the impact of Western sanctions on the bank. Read more

Additional reporting by Nick Curry, Christina Aman, Tim Hever, and Reuters offices. Writing by John Revell and Peter Henderson; Editing by Jan Harvey and Nick Szyminski

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.