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Senate rebukes US company for doing business in Russia

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Two top US senators criticized Koch Industries for continuing to operate in Russia even though hundreds of US companies have left or downsized after the Ukraine invasion.
In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden called on Koch to “put the values ​​of democracy before his profits.”

The criticism came after the company, which is a major donor to Republican and conservative candidates, justified its continued presence in Russia out of concern for the safety of more than 600 workers.

“We are not going to give up our people there or hand over the manufacturing facility to the Russian government so they can operate and profit from it,” Koch president Dave Robertson said, adding that it “would only put our employees there at greater risk. risk”. take risks and do more harm than good.”

Robertson condemned the “horrible and abominable aggression against Ukraine” and said that Koch was subject to applicable sanctions and laws.

Koch, one of only 27 Western companies that “defied demands” to leave Russia, according to a list compiled by Jeffrey Sonnenwald, a professor at the Yale University School of Management who has documented the withdrawal of more than 400 companies. , including ExxonMobil, McDonald’s and General Motors.

In a Fortune article, Sonnenwald and Steve Tian, ​​also of Yale University, praised the “courageous” CEOs who punished Moscow.

“As we watch the massacre of thousands of innocent civilians, economic blockades are certainly better than bombs and bullets,” they wrote, comparing companies that remained in Russia to companies that collaborated with the Hitler regime in World War II.

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