Famous Swiss brands join boycott of Russia
The luxury watchmaker Rolex is the latest in a number of Swiss international companies that have boycotted sales or halted exports to Russia. Under substantial public pressure, many Swiss firms have also suspended investments in the country until the conflict is resolved.
Major Swiss brands begin boycott of Russia
A spokesperson for Rolex said that the company would be joining its peers The Swatch Group and Richemont in stopping all exports to Russia. They confirmed that the only Rolex watches sold in Russia would be through independent and private retailers who had received the watches before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Many Swiss companies - from banking to manufacturing and logistics - have suspended their activities in Russia, in response to a combination of public pressure and the impact of sanctions imposed by Switzerland on the country. Swiss railway manufacturer ABB said on March 2 that it would suspend all operational activities in Russia, as well as Ukraine and Belarus, due to the impossibility of manufacturing in a war zone.
Swiss manufacturers suspend operations in Russia
Stadler Rail has said that it is prepared to transfer its production from Belarus, a key Russian ally, to the EU, should the need arise. Georg Fischer's Machining Solutions division has also ceased most of its operations in Russia, as have Starrag Group, Orior, Schindler Group and Kühne+Nagel. Swiss food giant Nestlé has also frozen its advertising in the country, but will still supply food and drink in Russia.
Finally, Swiss banks have frozen the assets of Russian people with strong ties to the Kremlin. The exclusion of some Russian banks from the SWIFT banking system has meant that many financial transactions remain impossible.
Along with large international companies, people across Switzerland have shown support for Ukraine over the last few weeks. To find out how you can get involved, check out our guide to how someone in Switzerland can help people in Ukraine.