Heineken announces it is leaving Russia over war in Ukraine

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March 28 (UPI) — European brewing company Heineken on Monday became the latest business to announce it is pulling out of Russia over the country’s invasion of Ukraine, which is now more than a month old.

The company said it was “shocked and deeply saddened” about the war and how it is continuing to intensify.

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“We earlier announced that Heineken stopped new investments and exports to Russia, ended the production, sale and advertising of the Heineken brand, and announced that we will not accept any net financial benefits or profit from our business in Russia,” the company said in a statement from its Amsterdam headquarters.

“Following the previously announced strategic review of our operations, we have concluded that Heineken’s ownership of the business in Russia is no longer sustainable nor viable in the current environment. As a result, we have decided to leave Russia.”

More than 300 companies have said they have plans to close stores, reassign staff or stop selling products in Russia since the invasion began on Feb. 24. Even commercial giants like McDonald’s, Starbucks and Coca-Cola have said they are ending sales and shuttering stores.

“We aim for an orderly transfer of our business to a new owner in full compliance with international and local laws,” Heineken said. “To ensure the ongoing safety and wellbeing of our employees and to minimize the risk of nationalization, we concluded that it is essential that we continue with the recently reduced operations during this transition period.”

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Heineken said it will guarantee the salaries of its 1,800 Russian-based employees through 2022 and will try “to safeguard their future employment.”

“Upon completion of the transfer, Heineken will no longer have a presence in Russia,” the company said. “We continue to hope that a path to a peaceful outcome emerges in the near term.”