Not all companies participate in mass immigration from Russia

The war also affects German companies. Whether it’s sanctions, price hikes, supply chain problems, or material shortages – the list of effects is long. Added to this is public pressure on those companies that are still active in Russia, and therefore in the eyes of critics support the war. The topic is sensitive. At the request of dpa, not all companies wanted to comment.

Attention was drawn to the list prepared by an economist from Yale University, in which the activities of companies active in Russia are evaluated according to the scores of American schools. In various media it has been referred to as the “List of Shame”. Many German companies can also be found on it.

Katharina Claas-Mulhauser, granddaughter of the founder of Claas, is chairperson of the German Business Eastern Committee. Archive the image. picture: Wolfgang Wootki

Many German companies are withdrawing entirely from Russia. Siemens, for example, has announced that it will leave the country entirely after 170 years. “A lot of people have stopped production and are now checking if and how they can leave Russia,” said Katharina Claes-Mulhauser, deputy chair of the Eastern European Economic Relations Committee. I talked about “displacement”.

Katharina Klass Mülhauser

But some companies remain. Claes Mülhauser said the Eastern European Economic Relations Committee rejects a blanket condemnation of trade contacts with Russia permitted under the sanctions regulations. “Economic relationships built over decades cannot end overnight and contracts simply break.”

The SAP building in Waldorf. picture: Uwe Ansbach / dpa

The SAP software group from Walldorf (Rhein-Neckar-Kreis) argues the same way. Soon he stopped selling products and solutions in Russia and also announced an orderly withdrawal from Russia. However, a spokesperson said that SAP will continue to fulfill its obligations to non-sanctioned customers under contracts already entered into.

SAP understands that there are different opinions about its decisions. Even those who requested more from SAP. “Because our products and solutions are proprietary and run on customer systems, there is no magic red button that we can use to instantly shut down our programs in Russia,” the spokesperson said. Not everyone liked it.

Ritter Sport wants to continue supplying chocolate to Russia. picture: Photo Alliance / Marijan Murad / dpa

Russia is an important market for the chocolate factory Ritter Sport from Waldenbuch in Swabia (Böblingen region). A spokesman said business in Russia accounts for more than 10 percent of sales. Ritter Sport will continue to supply the Russian market for the time being, “since the complete cessation of deliveries to Russia would have very serious implications for us as an independent and medium-sized family business in general”. Ritter Sport is in trouble. Since the company has stopped all marketing activities in Russia, it will affect sales of a driving product such as chocolate.

Many companies justify their stay in Russia as being responsible to their employees and customers. According to the wholesale group Metro, which, according to the company, operates 93 stores in Russia and recently made about 10 percent of its sales there, said it has a “responsibility for 10,000 colleagues” on the site. In addition, many customers get their purchases from metro groceries.

Jerry Weber headquarters are in Halle. picture: Stephen Coopers

Fashion salesman Jerry Weber recently made six percent of its annual sales in Russia and Ukraine. “This is an important market for us,” said company president Angelika Schindler-Odenhaus. Gerry Weber does not have its own stores, but supplies franchise stores, department stores, and boutiques. There are a total of 205 points of sale in Russia and 18 in Ukraine.

The East Westphalian company has gone through bankruptcy proceedings and is expecting a loss this year due to a deteriorating consumer climate. You can’t say, “We can do without it,” says Schindler-Odenhaus. The ownership structure of the business partners was examined and it was found that “we do not supply family and medium-sized businesses”. The manager said they didn’t want to “let them down”.

The agricultural and pharmaceutical group Bayer spoke of a moral obligation, according to which it cannot withhold basic health and agricultural products from the civilian population. This will only double the number of lives that the war has taken.

A spokeswoman for the Globus retail chain, which, according to the company, generates about 20 percent of its sales in Russia, argued that there is a risk of forced nationalization and severe criminal consequences in the event of the closure of the local administration. Automobile supplier Continental announced that it has temporarily resumed production of car tires for the domestic market at the tire plant in Kaluga in order to protect its employees from criminal prosecution.

Miele supplies only medical devices

According to a spokesperson, Gutersloh’s home appliance maker Miele has halted deliveries to Russia except for medical care products. At Miele, it seems that people are already considering further discussions in the future. Criticizing German companies is a discussion that “raises at least the fundamental question of how to deal with future sales markets associated with war, repression or other human rights abuses”.

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