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IKEA Suspends Russia, Belarus Operations Amid Ukraine Crisis

In response to the conflict in Ukraine, Swedish furniture giant Ikea announced Thursday that it would suspend operations in Russia and Belarus, affecting nearly 15,000 employees, 17 stores, and three production sites.

“The war has already had a significant human impact.” It is also causing significant disruptions in the supply chain and trading conditions. “Ikea has decided to temporarily pause operations in Russia for all of these reasons,” the company said in a statement to AFP.

The suspension primarily affects Russia, where the Swedish conglomerate has been present since 2000 and is one of the largest Western employers.

According to Ikea, operations in Belarus would also be halted, despite the fact that the country hosts only a few suppliers and has no stores.

“The devastating war in Ukraine is a human tragedy, and our hearts go out to the millions of people affected,” the company said.

“These decisions will have a direct impact on 15,000 Ikea coworkers, and the company groups will secure employment and income stability, as well as provide support to them and their families in the region,” Ikea stated.

While the Ingka group’s stores employ the majority of the affected workforce (12,000 people), Ikea also employs nearly 2,500 people in manufacturing, with three factories in Russia.

The decision, which also halts imports and exports between the two countries, would affect 47 suppliers in Russia and 10 in Belarus, according to the company.

Prior to this announcement, Ikea had stated that it would keep its stores in Russia open, which drew criticism in Sweden.

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