Overwhelming majority of German companies maintain business activities in Russia 1 year after invasion of Ukraine, recent data shows
The overwhelming majority of German companies keep doing business with Russia one year after the invasion of Ukraine, 23 February 2023
B4Ukraine — an international coalition of more than 80 civil society organisations — calls on the G7, EU, and Swiss governments to do more to urge companies to cut ties with Russia, one year on from the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
- 69% (259 of 373) of the German firms which had ties to Russia at the start of 2022 continue to do business within the country
- Of the 248 German firms with Russian subsidiaries at the start of the war, 20 have fully exited, about 8% or just under one in ten
- For every $4 the German government declares in bilateral aid to Ukraine, its companies may still be paying $1 in taxes to the Russian state
- Industrial equipment companies headquartered in Germany have been particularly slow to leave.
The overwhelming majority of German firms which had ties to Russia at the start of 2022 continue to do business in the country, a new analysis of 3,078 multinationals reveals.
Based on data from the Kyiv School of Economics, the analysis titled “Unfinished Business” found 259 or 69% of German firms which had ties to Russia at the start of 2022 continue to do business with the country.
Of the 248 German companies that had a local Russian subsidiary at the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, 20 have fully exited, about 8% or just under one in ten. The remaining companies paid at least $2 billion in taxes to Russia in 2021 — enough to fund Russia’s war against Ukraine for about a week.
“One year after the invasion and nine years since the beginning of Russia’s aggression, this is far too little progress,” said Eleanor Nichol, Executive Director of the B4Ukraine Coalition. “While G7 governments have been supporting Ukraine, providing billions of pounds in support, almost 1000 of their major companies have chosen to continue doing business with the regime — continuing to pay taxes, indirectly supporting this horrific war and undermining sanctions”...
As for German business players, industrial equipment companies headquartered in Germany have been particularly slow to leave the Russian market. The supermarket chain Metro AG and one of the largest manufacturers of building materials in the world Knauf are amongst the most recognizable German brands still operating in Russia.
Remaining companies must now also grapple with changes to domestic law requiring them to facilitate conscription for eligible employees and provide material support to the Russian military upon request, as well as threats of government expropriation of their assets.
“Companies are playing a potentially lethal game of corporate Russian roulette by willfully accepting exposure to an array of regulatory, legal, reputational, and financial risks by continuing to do business and utilize supply chains under military control in Russia,” said Rich Stazinski, member of the B4Ukraine Coalition...
B4Ukraine urges G7 governments including Germany to use all available powers not to support trade and investment activity with Russia, including withholding public money from companies which continue doing business with Russia.