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Geopolitics doesn't stop Philip Morris doing business in Russia

Geopolitics doesn't stop Philip Morris doing business in Russia
The decline in relations between Washington and Moscow has not damaged tobacco giant Philip Morris’ business in Russia, according to the company.

"We don’t see any special difficulties since our production is located on the territory of the Russian Federation. Not only are we a Russian producer, but also a Russian exporter,” Aleksey Kim, corporate affairs director at Philip Morris Russia told RIA Novosti.

He was speaking after talks in the United States with the head of the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov on the sidelines of the Russia-US business council in New York. "We try to take a pragmatic look at the way things stand now,” said Kim, adding that Philip Morris remains committed to expanding its plant near St. Petersburg.

Philip Morris has two plants in Russia – near St. Petersburg and in Krasnodar. It also has a subsidiary Philip Morris Sales and Marketing, which has over 100 subdivisions across Russia.

The company says it has invested over $2.3 billion in the Russian economy and paid near $3 billion in taxes last year. Philip Morris has been present in Russia since 1975 after it agreed with the Soviet government to sell co-branded cigarettes Soyuz-Apollo, dedicated to the first joint US-Soviet space flight and the thaw in relations between the two superpowers.

Even before the fall of the so-called Iron Curtain and the end of the USSR, Philip Morris produced its Marlboro cigarettes in Soviet cities of Moscow, Leningrad (St.Petersburg), Kishinev, Baku, and Sukhumi.