A number of Dutch companies are continuing to do business in Russia alongside Heineken, which was slammed earlier this week for launching new products on the Russian market.
Lighting company Signify, coffee company JDE Peets, banking group ING and Philips are among the companies which are ‘buying time’ in Russia, according to a database of 1,200 companies compiled by researchers at Yale University.
The Yale database includes 50 Dutch firms and none are classified as ‘digging in’, which means carrying on business as normal.
The database is based on company statements and news coverage. Heineken is listed as one of 18 Dutch firms to withdraw completely, despite a report by Follow the Money earlier this week that the company is still operating in Russia.
Heineken says its Russian unit is up for sale and says the introduction of new beers is something ‘our local colleagues have done to keep the company going and to ensure their livelihoods are not at risk.’
‘We will not profit from any sale or transfer of ownership. We aim to reach an agreement in the first half of 2023,’ according to the company’s 2022 annual report.
Representatives from ING, Philips and JDE Peet’s (Douwe Egberts) appeared earlier this month before a committee of MPs to explain why they were still operating in Russia, despite the sanctions.
ING’s operations there mainly consist of company loans and the bank is trying to recover the money, chairman Steven van Rijswijk told MPs. ‘If we don’t then it is a gift to the Russian client,’ he said.
Philips spokesman Jan-Willem Scheijgrond told MPs that the company only supplies hospital equipment to Russian hospitals, and that the situation has been discussed with the Ukrainian authorities.
‘They don’t like it but they understand it. It is a humanitarian issue,’ he said. ‘They said, “go ahead but don’t make any money on it”. We don’t. We make a loss.’
On Wednesday, national statistics agency CBS said Dutch exports to Russia had fallen by 38% since Moscow invaded Ukraine a year ago.
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