Koch Industries continues to operate in Russia

Koch Industries is continuing its operations in Russia as dozens of other companies have pulled out of the country due to the war in Ukraine. 

Dave Robertson, president and COO of Koch Industries, released a statement Wednesday explaining the company’s decision and business ties in Russia. 

Koch owns a company called Guardian Industries which will continue its operations in Russia as it employs 600 people across two glass manufacturing facilities.

Koch Industries employs another 15 people outside of Guardian Industries in Russia. 

Although the company denounced the “horrific and abhorrent aggression against Ukraine,” Koch Industries will not “walk away from our employees there or hand over these manufacturing facilities to the Russian government so it can operate and benefit from them.”

Russia is reportedly contemplating seizing facilities of Western companies who left the country due to the invasion. 

The invasion “violates our company’s values and principles, which are grounded in the fundamental truth that the system most conducive to human wellbeing, progress, civility and peace is one based on respect for the dignity of the individual, the consistent rule of law and the right to freely exchange goods and services. Principles always matter, and they matter most when they are under pressure,” Robertson said. 

“To be clear, Koch companies are complying with all applicable sanctions, laws and regulations governing our relationships and transactions within all countries where we operate,” he added. 

Stand Together, a nonprofit founded by billionaire Charles Koch, has decried the broad sanctions against Russia during the invasion. 

The @stand_together community supports targeted sanctions against Russia in response to its immoral invasion of Ukraine. We also believe that sanctions are a legitimate tool of statecraft. However, broad-based economic sanctions rarely achieve their desired policy outcomes,” Dan Caldwell, Stand Together’s vice president for foreign policy, said Monday. 

Robertson said Koch Industries has given financial assistance to employees from Ukraine and humanitarian aid to Ukrainians. 

In a Thursday statement, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) called on Koch Industries “to immediately suspend their operations in Russia,” threatening legislation targeting the tax benefits of companies that fail to do so.

“As the democracies of the world make huge sacrifices to punish Russia for Putin’s illegal and vicious invasion of Ukraine, Koch Industries continues to profit off of Putin’s regime. It is time for Koch Industries to put the values of democracy ahead of its own profits,” Wyden and Schumer said.

—Updated at 6:13 p.m.

Tags Charles Koch Chuck Schumer Contemporary history Dave Robertson Economic sanctions International sanctions International sanctions during the Russo-Ukrainian War Koch Industries Koch Industries Post-Soviet conflicts Ron Wyden Russian irredentism Russo-Ukrainian War Sanctions against Russia

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