3M suspends “all business operations” in Russia

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Maplewood-based 3M said Wednesday it was joining the growing ranks of multinationals pulling out of Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

“After reassessing our business in Russia, we have decided to suspend all business operations there,” 3M said. “We continue to focus on the safety of our colleagues and their families.”

The company has a head office in Moscow and two production plants in the country. It also has an office in kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.

The announcement comes as companies in various sectors have suspended some or all of their Russian operations in recent days, including McDonald’s, Exxon-Mobil, General Electric and Netflix.

3M rival Honeywell said on Tuesday it had “suspended nearly all of our sales, distribution and service operations in Russia and Belarus,” making the Russian invasion easier. “Our collective thoughts are with the millions of refugees and we hope to see a peaceful resolution soon.”

Polaris, the Medina-based automaker, is among the Minnesota companies that halted sales or exports to Russia in response to the invasion.

U.S. sanctions against the Russian economy imposed “restrictions on sensitive U.S. technology produced in foreign countries using U.S.-origin software, technology, or equipment,” according to the White House.

It’s unclear if or how these sanctions would affect a tech giant like 3M, which holds thousands of US patents, if it chose to keep its Russian operations open.

3M reports its sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa together. They accounted for 18.8% of the company’s global sales in 2021.

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