Netflix, AMEX and two top accounting firms sever Russia ties –

  • Netflix suspends service in Russia
  • Danone suspends investments in Russia
  • KPMG, PwC, EY cut ties with local units
  • AMEX calls Ukraine attack “unjustified”

March 7 (Reuters) – Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing (9983.T) will keep its stores in Russia open, joining a small group of international firms that have stayed put even as dozens of big brands pause operations or exit the country over its invasion of Ukraine.

“Clothing is a necessity of life. The people of Russia have the same right to live as we do,” the Japanese apparel retailer’s CEO Tadashi Yanai said in remarks first reported by Nikkei, adding that every country should oppose war.

Political pressure is building on companies to halt business in Russia while sweeping sanctions affecting everything from global payments systems to a range of high-tech products have complicated operations.

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Large shippers have suspended container routes to and from Russia and many Western companies including Nike Inc , Swedish home furnishing retailer Ikea and British energy giants BP and Shell (SHEL.L) have closed shops or announced plans to exit Russia.

On Sunday, streaming giant Netflix , three of the Big Four accounting firms KPMG, EY and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and credit card company American Express (AXP.N) cut ties with Russia.

French yoghurt maker Danone (DANO.PA), which makes around 6% of its sales in Russia and Ukraine, said on Sunday it was suspending investment in Russia and that one of its two factories had closed in Ukraine. read more

McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N) and PepsiCo Inc (PEP.O) are among companies continuing to operate in Russia, prompting New York state’s pension fund – a shareholder in the pair – to urge them to consider pausing their operations there. read more

Russia said on Monday it will hold fire and open humanitarian corridors in several Ukrainian cities, after fighting halted weekend evacuation efforts and civilian casualties mounted. read more

Russia calls the campaign it launched on Feb. 24 a “special military operation”. It has denied attacking civilian areas and says it has no plans to occupy Ukraine.

The sun sets behind the skyscrapers of the Moscow International Business Centre in Moscow
The sun sets behind the skyscrapers of the Moscow International Business Centre, also known as “Moskva-City”, in Moscow, Russia April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

A Fast Retailing spokesperson told Reuters the company had seen no noticeable impact on its supply chain or logistics in Russia. Last week they said the company had no plans to suspend operations in the country, where Uniqlo has 49 stores.

TikTok, the Chinese-owned video app, said on Sunday it would suspend live-streaming and the uploading of videos to its platform in Russia as it reviews the implications of a new media law signed on Friday by President Vladimir Putin.

“We have no choice but to suspend livestreaming and new content to our video service while we review the safety implications of this law,” the social media company said in a series of Twitter posts. It said in-app messaging would not be affected by the decision.


Many companies have strongly condemned Russia’s actions as they suspended services in the country.

“In light of Russia’s ongoing, unjustified attack on the people of Ukraine, American Express is suspending all operations in Russia,” it said on its website. read more

“Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia,” a Netflix spokesperson said. read more

Earlier, Netflix temporarily stopped all future projects and acquisitions in Russia and said it had no plans to add state-run channels to its Russian service, despite a regulation that would require it to do so.

KPMG, PwC and EY said they would sever links with their Russian operations, affecting thousands of staff. read more

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Reporting by Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru, Chris Gallagher in Washington, DC, Rocky Swift in Tokyo; Writing by Anna Driver and Sayantani Ghosh; editing by Diane Craft, Kirsten Donovan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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