Dutch brewer Heineken announced on Monday it was pulling out of Russia, becoming the latest Western firm to exit the country in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
The beer company had already halted the sale and production of its Heineken brand in Russia, as well as suspended new investments and exports to the country earlier this month.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened to watch the war in Ukraine continue to unfold and intensify,” Heineken said in a statement.
“Following the previously announced strategic review of our operations, we have concluded that Heineken’s ownership of the business in Russia is no longer sustainable nor viable in the current environment,” the statement said.
“As a result, we have decided to leave Russia.”
Heineken said it would aim for an “orderly transfer” of its business to a new owner in compliance with international and local laws and would not take any profit from the transaction, which will cost the company 400 million euros ($438 million) in exceptional charges.
The company said it would continue on reduced operations during a transition period to reduce the risk of nationalisation and “ensure the ongoing safety and wellbeing of our employees”.
“In all circumstances we guarantee the salaries of our 1,800 employees will be paid to the end of 2022 and will do our utmost to safeguard their future employment.”
Hundreds of Western firms have closed shops and offices in Russia since the war started, a list that includes famous names such as Ikea, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.