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Marks and Spencer facing renewed pressure to shut Russian operations immediately

Jeremy Lim
18 March 2022

Marks and Spencer is facing renewed pressure to shut its Russian operations immediately, with Ukranian MPs accusing the British retailer of allowing stores to fund Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

M&S has 48 stores in Russia, operated through a franchise deal with Turkish company FiBA, which holds the rights to use the brand's name and sell its products.

M&S confirmed that the company had stopped supplying products to the stores two weeks ago in response to the war, adding that it is unable to impose full closures without legal consequences.

Having met with senior UK government officials including the Prime Minister on Thursday, Ukrainian MPs have demanded further pressure on M&S and other UK-based firms still operating in Russia.

Alona Shkrum, one of the four Ukrainian parliamentarians at the House of Commons said: "Marks & Spencer hasn't left Russia. It is very important to put Putin in isolation and for him to know he will not be getting a handshake from the world, he will not be getting a handshake from business, there will be no support for him because he has killed children in Ukraine.

"Every ruble they make right now goes just to the army and Russian soldiers killing Ukrainian kids. Putin is not spending it on any other necessities. He is just spending it on his army, on his jets, on his rockets on shelling Ukrainian cities and right now more civilians have died in Ukrainian than military."

M&S, who is part of a consortium that will provide Ukrainians coming to the UK with jobs, told the BBC it was absolutely committed" to the humanitarian cause in Ukraine and has pledged more than £1.5million to support refugees.

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