Some US companies still operate in Russia

Luckily for me, Coca-Cola, in accordance with US sanctions on Russia, finally decided to stop doing business in Putin’s homeland. You see, I had decided one of the tiny little things I could do to help Ukraine was stop buying Coca-Cola’s products. For me that would have meant giving up the one drink I always have on hand. But Coke finally saw the light and my stash of Powerade Zero was saved. Oh, and a big thanks to LG for finally suspending shipments to Russia. Now I won’t feel guilty about enjoying my big screen. Meanwhile I’ll continue to survive without Papa John’s or Subway, among others.

I applaud the US companies — more than 400 of them — that have completely withdrawn from Russia. Their actions will add significantly to the economic pressure being brought to bear on that country. Not that Putin cares. But if he finds that his country, the country he is trying to expand, is actually disintegrating around him, perhaps he’ll withdraw his troops from Ukraine.

The Yale School of Management compiled a list of those US companies withdrawing from Russia and those refusing to do so. The reasons/excuses for not withdrawing were complex and calculated, and the original Withdraw/Remain list soon expanded to five categories instead of two. It now includes Withdrawal, Suspension, Scaling Back, Buying Time, and Digging In. Included with each company name is a brief description of the action taken, where applicable.

Fortune Magazine examined the list and categories, analyzed some of the reasons given for not withdrawing completely, and bathed them in well-deserved opprobrium. There were, for example, concerns about abandoning loyal Russian workers or not supplying necessities such as medicines and baby food.

How very humanitarian. And what a bunch of corporate BS. Withdrawing necessities and pressuring the Russian people is precisely what the sanctions are intended to do. Admittedly limited action is better than no action at all, but Putin won’t be influenced by the sanctions until they affect him directly. And that won’t happen until his citizens grow desperate enough and angry enough to rise against him and remove him from power — one way or another.

Banner image: Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo: Reuters)

9 thoughts on “Some US companies still operate in Russia

    1. Yep, some have big Russian corporate partners. I assume they can’t do much without dissolving the partnership or corporation. On the other hand, you have to wonder what they could do if they really tried …

      1. I was reading a couple of articles about it today. Burger King was an example where the Russian partner owns a majority percentage. they refuse to close and corporate has stopped providing marketing or other supports to them, but so far not enough of a problem to force them to close.

        1. By their very nature, sanctions take effect somewhat slowly. Death by a thousand cuts, so to speak. Slow strangulation of the Russian economy. That’s the frustrating part for me. Ukraine may not be able to hold out until sanctions stop Putin — assuming they are going to work at all.

  1. To Beth’s point, McDonald’s is an example of some franchises failing to close, even though the parent company has shut down. They developed the whole system in Russia, including a network of suppliers, and some locations are still operating. Will this seed of capitalism survive the political climate there? TBD.

    1. Those McDonald’s franchisees actually own their businesses. If the parent corporation no longer supports them in any way, I don’t know what their future is. I can’t root against the little guy, but sanctions are intended to throttle the country and its economy and they, unfortunately, are a part of it. I’ll worry about the seeds of capitalism in Russia after Russians get out of Ukraine.

    1. I guess. But this time Coke bailed and Mickey D’s stayed. Dunno what that says about them. Reports indicate the Russian people are not happy about what Putin is doing. Maybe they realize they stand to lose all those Western goodies they’ve grown to love. It’s beginning to look like Putin underestimated both the Ukrainians and his own people. I keep thinking about that cartoon of the cornered rat

... and that's my two cents