British American Tobacco (BAT) has entered into an agreement to pull out of Russia after 18 months since Vladimir Putin invaded the sovereign country of Ukraine.
BAT said that they have “entered into an agreement to sell its Russian and Belarusian business,” and have said they will not receive any financial gain from ongoing sales in these markets.”
The company has an office in Belarus, a factory in St Petersburg, 75 regional offices with a head office in Moscow, the deal is expected to be finalised within a month.
BAT said, “The buyer is a consortium led by members of BAT Russia’s management team which, upon completion, will wholly own both businesses.”
The tobacco giant added, “BAT’s ownership of the business in Russia is no longer sustainable in the current environment”, and that it had “initiated the process to rapidly transfer our Russian business.”
In a letter to BAT chief executive Tadeu Marroco in July, campaign group B4Ukraine said, “Our research shows that BAT still remains significantly exposed to the Russian markets and the risks associated with Russian operations.
“These activities in Russia risk enabling and financing Russia’s violations of IHL and human rights law during the ongoing invasion and occupation of Ukraine.”
Adding, “Russia is violating international humanitarian law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, through attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure (e.g. mass executions, sexual violence, torture, forcible transfer of civilians).”