The New York TimesThe New York Times

Leave Russia? A year later many companies can't, or won't

By Liz Alderman

02 Mar 2023 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

For many Western companies, fulfilling promises to leave Russia has been trickier than expected. As The NYT reports, many are still doing business there despite sanctions and boycott campaigns.

PARIS — When Russia invaded Ukraine, a phalanx of Western companies pledged to get out fast from what had once been an important market. McDonald’s dismantled its golden arches after 32 years. Oil giant BP moved to divest its mammoth Russian investments. French automaker Renault sold its factories for the symbolic sum of one ruble.

But a year into the war, hundreds of Western businesses are still in Russia, including blue chip and midsize companies from Europe and the United States. They are doing business despite Western sanctions and boisterous boycott campaigns pressed by Ukrainian officials, consumers and human rights groups.

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