German company Knauf withdraws from Russia

After more than 30 years on the Russian market, German building materials manufacturer Knauf is to close down all its operations in the country following a scandal over its construction in occupied Mariupol.

 The company did not give specific reasons for its withdrawal from Russia, saying it was due to “current events”. Knauf’s spokesman said in a statement that company had decided to transfer the entire business, including raw material extraction, production and sales, to local management in order to save the jobs of more than 4,000 employees.

The Wurzburg Prosecutor’s Office has opened a preliminary investigation into the German manufacturer Knauf. Spokesperson Tobias Kostuch said that the investigation rather “serves to determine whether such an initial suspicion exists at all.”

Ukraine designated Knauf an “international sponsor of war” in November 2023 due to its continued presence in the Russian market and contribution of over $117 million to Russia’s state budget.

The EU seems to have reassessed the economic threat posed by Russia and found it to be too great, so it is now increasing the pressure on sanctions violators and constantly considering new sanctions.

“The EU’s next package of sanctions should include steps against a shadow fleet of tankers moving Russian oil to circumvent sanctions”, Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. “Adopting the 14th sanctions package is one of the most important things”.

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