British American Tobacco (BAT) says it will continue to operate in Russia and will suspend all planned investment into the country to focus on its portfolio of locally produced tobacco products.
“In Russia, we have a full establishment of our people right across the country, including substantial local manufacturing. Our business in Russia continues to operate. As a key principle we have a duty of care to all our employees at this extremely complicated and uncertain time for them and their families," the tobacco firm said in a statement on Wednesday.
The statement added: “Furthermore, we are scaling our business activities appropriate to the current situation, including rationalising our marketing activities. This fast-moving and complex situation demands us to constantly assess a wide range of factors and considerations. We are complying, and will continue to comply with, all international sanctions related to this conflict in full.”
BAT currently employs around 2,500 people at its regional offices and St. Petersburg manufacturing plant.
British American Tobacco said it had suspended all business and manufacturing operations in Ukraine and was providing support and assistance to its staff there.
Earlier, tobacco firm Imperial Brands said that it had suspended all operations in Russia, including halting production at its factory in Volgograd and ceasing all sales and marketing activity. The firm said it would continue to pay all of its staff in Russia. Imperial Brands had already suspended its operations in Ukraine to prioritize the “safety and wellbeing” of its 600 employees.