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Media: German building materials firm Knauf to withdraw from Russia

by Martin Fornusek April 22, 2024 3:12 PM 2 min read
Illustrative purposes: Knauf production facility in Krasnogorsk, Russia, May 2013. (Shuvaev/Wikimedia Commons)
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The German producer of building materials Knauf is ceasing its operations in Russia in the light of "current events," Business Insider reported on April 22, citing a statement from the company.

While Knauf's spokesperson did not provide a specific reason for the withdrawal, the company came under scrutiny earlier this month for its alleged involvement in the reconstruction of Russian-occupied Mariupol.

The Monitor program of the German TV channel ARD wrote on April 3 that Russia uses Knauf-produced cement in construction works in the occupied Ukrainian city. The company has rejected the allegation and said it complies with relevant laws and sanctions.

Knauf wishes to "transfer the entire business in Russia, including raw material extraction, production, and sales, to local management in order to preserve the jobs of more than 4,000 employees," the spokesperson told Business Insider.

The move is pending approval by Russian authorities, which have already been informed of the plans, the outlet wrote.

Knauf has repeatedly come under criticism for not ending its Russia operations in response to the invasion of Ukraine, like other German companies, such as Volkswagen and Siemens.

The company retorted at the time that its products have no connection to war and that, as a family-owned business, it does not want to threaten the job security of its employees.

Media: German companies involved in Russian ‘reconstruction’ of occupied Mariupol
German companies Knauf and WKB Systems GmbH are involved in the so-called restoration efforts of occupied Mariupol in Donetsk Oblast, which was destroyed by Russian troops, according to an investigation published on April 3 by journalists of the Monitor program of the German TV channel ARD.
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