McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coke, GE pull out of Russia over war

McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca-Cola and General Electric all announced Tuesday they were suspending their business in Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

McDonald’s is temporarily closing all of its 850 restaurants in Russia, but will continue paying its 62,000 employees there. In an open letter to employees, McDonald’s President and CEO Chris Kempckinski said closing those stores is the right thing to do because McDonald’s can’t ignore the “needless human suffering in Ukraine.”

The fast food giant owns 84% of its Russian restaurants. In a recent financial filing, the company said Russia and Ukraine contributed 9% of the company’s revenue last year.

Meanwhile, Starbucks is also temporarily closing 130 franchised stores but its franchisee will continue paying 2,000 Russian workers.

Coca-Cola said it is suspending its business; its bottling partner has 10 plants in Russia.

GE said it was suspending its business except for essential medical equipment and electrical service.

Unilever suspends Russian imports, exports

Consumer goods conglomerate Unilever said Tuesday that it has suspended all imports and exports of its products into and out of Russia, and that it will not invest any further capital into the country.

The company condemned the war in Ukraine as “a brutal and senseless act by the Russian state.” It said it will continue to supply everyday essential food and hygiene products that are made in Russia to people there, but will keep that under review.

Unilever, which owns hundreds of food and personal care brands including Hellmann’s and Dove, also said it has stopped business operations in Ukraine and will instead focus on helping its employees.

Adidas halts Russian operations

Sports apparel and shoe company Adidas said Tuesday that it has suspended the operations of its retail stores and e-commerce website in Russia until further notice, though it continues to pay its employees there.

Adidas, based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, said it will make future business decisions and take action as needed, “prioritizing our employee’s safety and support.”

“As a company, we strongly condemn any form of violence and stand in solidarity with those calling for peace,” the company said in a statement.

It’s also donating 1 million euros ($1.1 million) to refugee and children’s charities and clothing to the Global Aid Network for people in Ukraine and neighboring countries.

Last week, Adidas suspended its partnership with the Russian Football Union. Nike has also shut its stores in Russia.

Sales in Russia account for only about 3% of Adidas’s total global revenue, according to company data.