The businesses (and others) boycotting Russia over deadly Ukraine invasion

protestors-putin-ukraine-russia-war

Protesters holding anti-Putin, anti-Russian and anti-war banners outside the Russian consulate are seen in Gdansk, Poland. Source: Vadim Pacajev/Sipa USA

The world is watching in real-time as Russia’s military might rains down upon Ukraine’s second-most populous city Kharkiv and approaches its capital Kyiv, with fatalities already in the hundreds just a couple of days in.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bullish approach to occupying Ukraine has been condemned from all corners of the globe with international sanctions targeting Russia’s wealthy and powerful — even from typically neutral Switzerland, which has frozen Putin’s assets.

Back home, the Australian government is confirming layers of sanctions as the violence intensifies, while the $200 million Future Fund also winds down its exposure to Russian assets.

But the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations has called for the federal government go further and ban the import and distribution of Russian products to send a clear message to Putin’s Russia.

In Australia and across the globe, the private market is making its solidarity with Ukraine clear as well. So which companies are taking a stand?

BWS, Dan Murphy’s, Jimmy Brings

Parent company Endeavour Group has confirmed it will remove drinks originating in Russia from across its retail, hotel and online businesses, which includes BWS and Dan Murphy’s outlets, as well as Cellarmasters and ALH Hotels.

“As an organisation, Endeavour Group is deeply concerned with the situation in Ukraine and we join the calls for peace,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

It’s set to affect 1,500 liquor stores around the country, but with lines of vodka from Poland, Latvia and more still available, the consumer won’t feel the pinch.

In Canada, the Crown-owned Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) — which is the only alcohol retailer in the country’s most populous province — has done the same.

BP Oil

The biggest foreign investor in Russia has made a $25 billion decision to quit the country, abandoning its stake in Russian-owned Rosneft after three decades of operation.

It’s the most significant move yet by a Western company in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, as Rosneft accounts for around half of BP’s oil and gas reserves, and a third of it’s production.

“I have been deeply shocked and saddened by the situation unfolding in Ukraine and my heart goes out to everyone affected. It has caused us to fundamentally rethink BP’s position with Rosneft,” said BP Chief Executive Bernard Looney.

Champions League

Russia has been stripped of the Champions League final in a major blow to football-mad Russians, after Poland, Sweden and Czech Republic refuse to play in Russia.

“The military escalation that we are observing entails serious consequences and considerable lower safety for our national football teams and official delegations,” a joint statement from the three teams said. “Therefore we expect Fifa and Uefa to react immediately and to present alternative solutions regarding places where these approaching play-off matches could be played.”

This season’s Champions League final has been moved from St Petersburg to Stade de France in Saint-Denis after an extraordinary meeting of UEFA’s executive committee last week following the statement.

Swimming Australia

Australia’s most elite swimmers will boycott the World Short Course Championships in Russia, after Swimming Australia said it was “appalled” by the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The decision not to send our athletes to Russia is based on safety reasons first and foremost,” SA boss Eugenie Buckley said. “We would also like to see Fina consider relocating these events to alternate locations so our swimmers have the opportunity to race in a safe environment.”

It comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged Australian sporting organisations and athletes to boycott any events in Russia late last week.

“I commend those Australians that are saying they won’t participate in anything that is occurring in Russia this year … this is how you impose a cost on Russia that is invading its neighbour,” Morrison said on Friday.

SWIFT

Called the “nuclear option” when it comes to punishing Putin, Russia has been barred from accessing a payment system called SWIFT that facilitates 40 million transactions across the world every day.

This one isn’t quite the private market; SWIFT, short for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, is a Belgian cooperative society owned by its members and used by 11,000 institutions.

But the leaders of Canada, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States issued a joint statement at the weekend confirming the boycott against several Russian banks.

“This will ensure that these banks are disconnected from the international financial system and harm their ability to operate globally,” the statement said.

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