Ukraine labels Western tobacco giants ‘sponsors of war’

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Phillip Morris and Japan Tobacco have been reluctant to exit Russia, according to Kiev 

US tobacco giant Philip Morris and another major cigarette maker, Japan Tobacco, have been labeled “international sponsors of war,” owing to their continued operations in Russia, the Ukrainian National Corruption Prevention Agency (NCPA) announced on Thursday. 

Phillip Morris has two factories in Russia’s Leningrad and Krasnodar Regions. The market share of the company’s trademarks in the country was 30.1% in 2019. Currently, Philip Morris’ total investment in Russia exceeds $2 billion.   

“Having confidence in the economic potential of Russia, the company is implementing a large-scale long-term investment program,” the NCPA declared.   

Japan Tobacco has a 34.9% share of the Russian market and is the largest investor and a leading taxpayer in the country’s tobacco industry, according to Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency.

Although company representatives pledged to suspend new investments and marketing activity in Russia, Japan Tobacco continues manufacturing and sales in the country, the Kiev agency claims.   

Other multinationals that have been branded ‘enemies of Ukraine’ include Raiffeisen Bank International, Auchan, Metro, Procter & Gamble, Bonduelle, Leroy Merlin, Xiaomi, and many more.

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