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Ukraine labels tobacco giants ‘sponsors of war’   

The decision was made due to the reluctance of Phillip Morris and Japan Tobacco to exit Russia, according to Kiev 

The Ukrainian government has labeled US tobacco giant Philip Morris and another major cigarette maker, Japan Tobacco, “international sponsors of war” owing to their continued operations in Russia, the Ukrainian National Corruption Prevention Agency (NCPA) announced on Thursday. 

Phillip Morris has two factories in Russia’s Leningrad and Krasnodar regions. The market share of the company’s trademarks in the country was 30.1% in 2019. Currently, Philip Morris’ total investment in Russia exceeds $2 billion.   

“Having confidence in the economic potential of Russia, the company is implementing a large-scale long-term investment program,” NCPA declared.   

Japan Tobacco has a 34.9% share of the Russian market and is the largest investor and a leading taxpayer in the country’s tobacco industry, according to Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency.   

Although representatives of the company pledged to suspend new investments and marketing activity in Russia, Japan Tobacco continues manufacturing and sales in the country, the NCPA claims.   

READ MORE: Oreo-maker faces backlash over Russia business

Multinationals that have been branded enemies of Ukraine include Raiffeisen Bank International, Auchan, Metro, Procter & Gamble, Bonduelle, Leroy Merlin, Xiaomi and many others.

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