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8 Jul, 2023 08:43

Japanese giant sticking with Russia

Japan Tobacco stopped new investments and marketing activities in the sanctioned country in 2022
Japanese giant sticking with Russia

Cigarette and vape manufacturer Japan Tobacco International (JTI) intends to keep its Russian factories running for as long as possible, according to the company’s president, Masamichi Terabatake.

In an interview with the Kyodo news agency on Friday, Terabatake stated that his firm has the option to sell its business in Russia, but added that “as far as possible, we will continue.” 

Terabatake also said that the company has partially restored operations at its enterprises in Ukraine and has continued to hire due to “employees’ strong desire to produce.” 

In April of 2022, JTI announced it was considering selling off its Russian operations, JT International Russia, response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. The company controls nearly 40% of the Russian cigarette market, and said at the time it was “continuing to evaluate various options for its Russia business, including a potential transfer of ownership.” 

The cigarette giant announced last March it would cease new investments and marketing activities in Russia in the wake of sanctions. The manufacturer also postponed the launch of a heated tobacco device in Russia that had been scheduled for the first half of 2022. Terabatake said at the time that “unless the business environment improves significantly, we may temporarily suspend production in the Russian market.” 

JTI employs approximately 4,000 people in Russia and operates four factories, including in St. Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don.

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