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LEGO becomes latest company to pull out of Russia

LEGO becomes latest company to pull out of Russia, after halting deliveries to the country in the wake of Ukraine invasion

  • Toymaker is stopping operations and ending employment of Moscow staff
  • It is ending a partnership with a company operating 81 stores in Russia
  • The company had already halted deliveries to Russia in March 

LEGO has become the latest major company to completely pull out of Russia due to Putin’s brutish invasion of Ukraine. 

The Danish toymaker announced today it would stop all its operations in the country, end the employment of its Moscow staff and call off a partnership with a company operating 81 stores in Russia.

A company spokeswoman said they had decided to ‘indefinitely cease commercial operations in Russia given the continued extensive disruption in the operating environment’.

LEGO has become the latest major company to completely pull out of Russia due to Putin’s brutish invasion of Ukraine

Companies that stopped doing business in Russia 

  • LEGO 
  • McDonald’s
  • KFC
  • Taco Bell
  • Pizza Hut
  • Cocoa-Cola
  • Pepsi
  • Starbucks
  • Uniqlo
  • British American Tobacco
  • Ikea
  • H&M
  • Canada Goose
  • Nestlé
  • Nike
  • TJ Max
  • BP
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Shell
  • Volvo 
  • Siemens
  • Renault
  • Caterpillar
  • Delta Air Lines
  • United Airlines
  • DHL
  • Hilton hotels
  • Hyatt hotels
  • American Airlines
  • Uber
  • Sony
  • Microsoft
  • Apple
  • Netflix
  • Bloomberg
  • Walt Disney
  • Warner Brothers 
  • Imperial Brands

This included terminating the employment of most of the Moscow-based team and a partnership with Inventive Retail Group which ‘operated 81 stores on the brand’s behalf,’ the spokeswoman added.

The company had already halted deliveries to Russia in March following the invasion of Ukraine.

‘We confirm the termination of the contract with LEGO,’ a spokeswoman for Inventive Retail Group told AFP on Tuesday.

‘Our company will continue to work as an expert in the category of construction and educational toys,’ she added.

In early May, Russia placed LEGO products on a list of goods that could be imported without the agreement of the intellectual property owner in order to bypass restrictions imposed over the conflict in Ukraine.

Among the list published by the industry and commerce ministry were Apple and Samsung smartphones, major car brands, game consoles and spare parts used in various industries.

LEGO follows a long list of Western companies to withdraw from Russia in response to the invasion.

Many initially halted operations but have since completely pulled out of the country, such as Google, Nike and McDonald’s.

Popular clothing brands, both luxurious and affordable, coffee and fast-food chains became unavailable to many Russians.

Luxury brands such as France’s Chanel and Louis Vuitton have announced they are suspending operations in Russia, adding to the country’s economic isolation imposed by the West in response to the invasion.

The Spanish fashion retailer Inditex, which owns Zara, halted trading in Russia in March, closing its 502 shops and stopping online sales.

Prada, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Fendi were among those to clear their shelves in the luxury shopping malls of the Russian capital as sanctions begin to bite.

American food and beverage giants including Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Starbucks have paused or closed operations in Russia in the face of western sanctions.

Corporations from British energy giants Shell and BP to French carmaker Renault have pulled out of Russia, taking a hit to their bottom lines as they seek to sell their holdings there.

People walk past a Zara shop closed due to sanctions in a shopping mall in St. Petersburg. The Spanish fashion retailer Inditex, which owns Zara, halted trading in Russia in March

People walk next to a closed McDonald’s restaurant at a shopping mall in Moscow in March, after the company announced it would be closing its stores

Yum Brands, which operates the brands KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, The Habit Burger Grill, and WingStreet worldwide, said that it is suspending all investment and development of new restaurants in Russia, and that it will donate all profits from operations in Russia to humanitarian efforts.

Other major US companies that have recently announced their intention to leave Russia include Nissan, Levi jeans, Visa and Mastercard.

McDonald’s in March closed all of its 850 restaurants in the country – where it says it employs 62,000 people – including its iconic Pushkin Square location.

It was replaced by ‘Vkusno i Tochka’ after McDonald’s sold its franchises to a Russian businessman in June. 

The new business reopened on June 12 with a rebranded menu and new staff uniforms and flocks of people queuing around the corner of Pushkin Square in Moscow city centre. 

But a month on, the running of the operation is already struggling to fulfil basic demands that McDonald’s customers would expect effortlessly. 

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