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03/09/2022

Amazon shuts out Russia; Burger King halts support to Russian franchises

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Amazon has suspended shipments of retail products to customers in Russia.

Amazon customers in Russia have been cut off from the e-commerce giant amid their country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.  And Burger King paused corporate support for its 800-plus franchised restaurants in Russia.

Amazon announced in a blog post that it has suspended shipments of retail products to customers in Russia and Belarus. It also is halting access to Prime Video for customers based in Russia, and will no longer take orders for its recently released online multiplayer video game, New World.

Amazon had previously announced that its cloud-computing business, Amazon Web Services, had stopped accepting new customers in Russia and Belarus. The company also said it has been providing cybersecurity assistance to Ukraine and has donated $5 million to organizations providing help on the ground.

Amazon noted that it has no data centers, infrastructure, or offices in Russia, and has have a long-standing policy of not doing business with the Russian government.

“We’re continuing to partner with several NGOs and organizations to support the immense humanitarian needs in the region," the company stated. "Amazon donated $5 million to support those impacted. We continue to match our employees’ donations, and we’re happy to report that over 10,000 employees have donated to the effort. Tens of thousands of customers around the world have also made donations via our homepages, and we’re making sure those funds get to Save the Children and the Red Cross on the ground.”

 

BURGER KING

Burger King on Wednesday said it has suspended all of its corporate support for the Russian market, including operations, marketing and supply chain. It also will refuse approvals for any investment or expansion.  The company has no corporate restaurants in Russia. The business is fully franchised and managed by a local master franchisee

As previously announced, Burger King has committed to redirecting any profits from franchised operations to humanitarian aid for Ukrainian refugees. In addition, the chain has made a $1 million donation to the UNHCR and Burger King franchisees in more than 25 European countries are partnering with local NGOs to distribute $2 million of free Whopper meal vouchers to Ukrainian refugees.

Burger King is part of Restaurant Brands International, whose other banners include Tim Hortons, Popeyes and Firehouse Subs.

Amazon’s and Burger's King's announcements come as many prominent global retailers, including Ikea and H&M and two of the world’s largest U.S.-based restaurant brands, have also temporarily paused operations in Russia.

[Read More: McDonald’s reveals cost of Russian closures; other brands follow its lead to pause]