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Danish toy manufacturer Lego has indefinitely halted its operations in Russia, becoming the latest Western business to leave the country following its invasion of Ukraine.
The company made the decision due to ‘extensive disruption’ in Russia and is laying off 90 employees in Moscow, as reported by Reuters.
The Guardian quoted Lego as saying: “Given the continued extensive disruption in the operating environment, we have decided to indefinitely cease commercial operations in Russia.”
The company has also terminated its contract with franchisee Inventive Retail Group (IRG), which owned and operated 81 stores in Russia on behalf of the group.
IRG previously confirmed that its contract with Lego had been terminated.
The company has also operated shops in Russia for other Western brands, including Nike and Samsung.
Reuters quoted an IRG spokesperson as saying: “Our company will continue to work as an expert in the toy design and development category.”
Lego’s announcement comes after it suspended deliveries to Russia in March this year in the wake of the Ukraine conflict.
It is also despite Russia adding Lego products to a list of goods that could be imported without the intellectual property owner’s agreement in May.
Published by Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, the list also included Apple and Samsung smartphones, major car brands, games consoles and spare parts used in several industries.
Last month, Lego temporarily ‘froze’ some of its Russian stores due to supply issues.
In May, US-based sportswear brand Nike refused to renew its franchise agreement with IRG and announced plans to leave the Russian market completely the following month.
This week, French cosmetics and beauty retailer Sephora reached an agreement to divest its Russian subsidiary.
Swedish furniture retailer IKEA has also started selling its products online in Russia for the last time before withdrawing from the country.