International

Zelensky: French companies still in Russia are sponsoring terrorism

krainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine
Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pressed all French companies to stop operating in Russia, saying that continuing to do business in the country made them “sponsors” of war.

“Renault, Auchan, Leroy Merlin and others. They must cease to be sponsors of Russia’s military machine, sponsors of the killing of children and women, sponsors of rape, robbery and looting by the Russian army,” Zelensky said Wednesday in a speech to the French parliament.

The Auchan brand and Leroy Merlin DIY home improvement stores, which are owned by the French Mulliez family, have been subjected to particular scrutiny, according to The Washington Post.

Ukrainian Leroy Merlin employees asked the company’s owners to stop operations in Russia after one of its stores in Kyiv was bombed over the weekend, resulting in several casualties, the Post reported.

In a tweet earlier this week, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said Leroy Merlin was “the first company in the world to finance the bombing of its own stores” and called its actions “inhumane, harrowing greed.”

French carmaker Renault resumed operations at its Moscow plant on Monday, according to Reuters. The company had previously stopped operating in Russia at the end of last month, citing a “forced change in existing logistic routes.”

Since Moscow began its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, many international private businesses — in industries including oil, media, sports and more — have also made moves against or pulled their operations out of Russia.

Tags Auchan France Leroy Merlin Renault Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Ukraine Volodmyr Zelensky

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