Explainer-in-brief: Cutting company ties with Russia is a balancing act
Leroy Merlin and Bayer are two of the companies that haven’t pulled out of Russia yet. When giants like BP and Shell terminated operations in the country they were praised, and rightfully so.
Companies that haven’t left face boycott calls.
Sanctions are seen as a way to push the Kremlin in a corner, ultimately making it impossible to protract an expensive war.
The idea is that if Russians can’t access goods and products, they will be a little bit less happy with the regime. Companies should be on the side of governments in these efforts.
But it will always be easier for profitable giants such as BP than for smaller businesses, who have to cater for their employees and the local population they serve.
With sanctions, it’s about striking a balance between their political impact and the harm they do to civilians.
Some businesses might stay in Russia just for the money. Some others, however, might have these considerations in mind when they make the painful decision of not leaving, potentially staining their public image for good.