Ukraine labels German wholesaler Metro as "sponsor of war"

    WORLD  21 March 2023 - 20:00

    German wholesaler Metro faces heightened criticism from Ukraine's NACP corruption watchdog and concerned citizens over its decision to continue business operations in Russia.

    Justifying the addition of the wholesaler to its so-called list of international sponsors of war, Ukraine NACP tweeted that Metro's management hasn't stopped "financing Russian aggression," and that "key shareholder Daniel Kretinsky, is closely linked to the oil, gas and banking sectors of Russia's economy", DW reports.

    Kretinsky is a Czech oligarch who holds a 29.99% stake in METRO, and also owns EPH, a Czech holding company that reported record earnings in the first half of 2022 thanks to its large stake in the Russian gas business.

    Metro CEO Steffen Greubel made statements defending the company's decision to stay in Russia as early as the spring of last year. Now, more than a year since Russian forces crossed the border into Ukraine, the company appears steadfast in its decision to continue doing business there.

    In a written statement provided to DW, a company spokesperson said: "Metro condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine."

    They defended the company's decision to maintain operations in Russia saying, "We had decided after careful internal review to maintain the operations of the Russian subsidiary as the company also holds responsibility for the 10,000 colleagues there and many of our customers who source their food from us."

    In the 2021/2022 fiscal year, Metro upped its sales in Russia to a total value of €2.9 billion ($3.9 billion).

    Caliber.Az

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