IKEA pauses all operations in Russia, Belarus due to ‘devastating’ war in Ukraine

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March 3 (UPI) — IKEA Group announced Thursday the company is suspending all of its operations in Russia and Belarus due to the “devastating war in Ukraine.”

The Swedish-founded, Dutch-headquartered multinational conglomerate said it will pause all exports and imports for the two nations, as well as halt all production and retail operations in Russia.

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Russia ordered an invasion of Ukraine a week ago, and Belarus is an ally of Moscow’s and has aided Russian troops in their attacks.

“The war has had a huge human impact already. It is also resulting in serious disruptions to supply chain and trading conditions. For all of these reasons, the company groups have decided to temporarily pause IKEA operations in Russia,” the company said in a statement.

The Ingka Group, a holding company that owns most of IKEA’s 445 global locations, said it will continue to operate the Mega shopping center, “to ensure that the many people in Russia have access to their daily needs and essentials such as food, groceries and pharmacies.”

The decisions will affect roughly 15,000 IKEA workers, the company said.

“The devastating war in Ukraine is a human tragedy, and our deepest empathy and concerns are with the millions of people impacted,” the company added.

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“The immediate actions of Inter IKEA Group and Ingka Group have been to support the personal safety and security of IKEA co-workers and their families, and we will continue to do so.”

Ingka also announced an immediate donation of $26 million for humanitarian assistance to displaced persons in Ukraine.

IKEA is the latest in a long line of companies that have imposed some type of economic punishment against Russia for attacking Ukraine. Some of the others include Delta Air Lines, Apple, YouTube and ExxonMobil.

Volunteers make a masking net at a help center in Lviv in western Ukraine, on March 2. Photo by Oleksandr Khomenko/UPI | License Photo