Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine showed the world the true colors of many countries and businesses from these countries. Some, like France or Germany, were revealed to have such close ties with Russia, that even eight months into the devastating and destructive war in Ukraine many French and German businesses continue to do business with Russia as usual. Others, like the UK for example, are genuinely committed to supporting democratic values and Ukraine in its fight for survival.
And the United Kingdom is really an amazing case. As KSE Institute states, Russia is not included in the list of top countries in terms of investment attractiveness for Great Britain, however, over the past ten years, accumulated British investments in Russia ranked fifth in Russia itself, after Cyprus, the Netherlands, Germany and the Virgin Islands. For Russia UK means a lot in terms of attracting new investments and funding for businesses and production.
It is also noted that British subsidiaries in Russia often serve as fronts for international financial flows leading to Russian owners. As KSE Institute reports, HSBC Holdings, Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Linde, Legal & General Group and LyondellBasell Industries are companies that have their headquarters in Great Britain and support cooperation with the Russian Federation.
However, with the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Great Britain imposed financial restrictions on Russia in order to punish the latter for its military escalation against Ukraine, declared the inadmissibility of new British investments in Russia, and announced the support by the British Government to British companies in stopping the latter’s business in Russia.
And there are a lot of UK businesses that opted to do just that - leave Russia, depriving its war machine of money. According to data collected by the KSE Institute, in 2021 248 British companies were working in Russia and provided jobs for 71,150 people, while generating some $21.6 billion in annual revenue.
And after the full-scale invasion, 15 companies have already completely exited Russia by selling their shares, and 131 companies are about to leave the country. Meaning that only 27% of British companies stay in Russia, 10% waiting and somewhat limiting their activities and 53% are leaving.
The B4Ukraine coalition calls on all businesses that still work in Russia to take a closer look at the example of British companies and leave the country to cut it off from means for waging destructive war in Ukraine.