French Auchan to continue its work in Russia
French retail network Auchan will carry on with its work on the territory of Russia because the company operates in the interests of civilians, Auchan CEO Yves Claude said in an interview with French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche, TASS reports.
Claude’s comments come in the wake of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s calls on French companies to leave the Russian market.
“It is fruitless to pit people against each other,” Claude said. “The most important thing for us is to preserve our employees and ensure our primary mission, which is to continue to feed the populations in these two countries. We never had any other objective.”
“I am ready to assume a public opinion that does not agree with us,” he continued. “It is easy to criticize us, but we are there, we face up and we act for the civilian population.”
Claude added that “We make fresh bread in our stores every day for Ukrainians and for Russians, which is vital at the moment.”
“In Russia, where the brand has been present for twenty years, we employ nearly 30,000 employees,” he continued. “We act as a discounter and we think we can contribute in times of high inflation to protect the purchasing power of the inhabitants.”
“If Auchan leaves, we will deprive 30,000 people of employment, 40% of whom are employees and shareholders,” Claude added.
On March 23, Ukrainian President Zelensky said in his video message to the French Parliament that companies from France working in Russia should stop their activities because of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine in order to protect people “who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years.”
The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories and the operation was aimed at demilitarizing and denazifying Ukraine.
When clarifying the developments unfolding, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.
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