Tobacco Giants Philip Morris International and Japan Tobacco International Added to List of War Sponsors
Leading global tobacco companies Philip Morris International and Japan Tobacco International have been added to a list of international war sponsors as they continue to conduct business in Russia. This information comes from Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention.
"In 2019, the market share of Philip Morris International's brands in Russia stood at 30.1%. The company is thus one of the largest taxpayers contributing to the Russian budget, which in turn funds the Russian army," the agency's statement reads.
The total investment of Philip Morris International in Russia exceeds $2 billion USD. The company is implementing a large-scale, long-term investment programme in Russia. Since 2017, more than 14 billion rubels have been invested in localising the production of innovative tobacco sticks for IQOS in a factory in the Leningrad region.
According to financial reports from the Russian subsidiary of Philip Morris, the company’s revenue significantly increased in the first year of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
"The other company, Japan Tobacco International (JTI), is undoubtedly the market leader in Russia's tobacco industry, with a market share of approximately 34.9%. It is one of the largest FMCG companies in the country in terms of sales volume. The company's portfolio in the Russian market includes international brands such as Winston, LD, Mevius, Camel, Sobranie, as well as Russian brands like 'Donskoy Tabak', Kiss, Play, 'Peter I', 'Troika', and others," the agency noted.
JTI is the largest investor and leading taxpayer in Russia's tobacco industry. "Although representatives have stated that the JT Group has suspended new investments and marketing activities in Russia, the company still continues to produce and distribute products there," the agency pointed out.
The "International War Sponsors" list serves as a powerful reputational tool for ensuring supply chain integrity on an international scale, compliance with sanctions, and reducing the financial and technological capability of the terrorist country, Russia.
For global companies, the consequences of being on this list are worse than continuing to do business with aggressor country Russia.