Exodus: western companies abandon Russia

STORY: As the fighting continues in Ukraine, western firms are hastily rethinking their business in Russia.

Now a steady trickle of departures from the country is turning into a flood.

Shell is the latest big oil firm to confirm it’s quitting Russian projects.

That follows BP, and piles pressure on rivals like ExxonMobil.

Payment firms Mastercard and Visa say they have blocked transactions by Russian financial institutions.

That’s in line with international sanctions.

Major car and truck makers are cutting off exports to the country.

Volvo and General Motors are among those to make the move so far, though they are small players in the Russian market.

Ford, which is a major player, hasn’t fully spelled out its plans.

Maersk, the world’s biggest shipping company, on Tuesday said it would suspend all container movements to and from Russia.

That follows similar moves by rivals including Germany’s Hapag Lloyd.

Meanwhile tech firms are restricting access to content deemed Russian propaganda.

Facebook-owner Meta says it will block state media outlets RT and Sputnik on its platforms in the EU.

The moves all ramp up pressure on companies that are yet to decide.

French oil giant TotalEnergies said Tuesday (March 1) that it would stop providing capital for new projects in Russia.

But it stopped short of following rivals in making a full exit.