Global plastics and chemicals firms have been actively pulling out of most existing business in Russia and curtailing plans for future programs as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Solvay SA is suspending operations and new investments in Russia because of that country's invasion of Ukraine while Dow Inc. has significantly reduced its operations in Russia.
In addition, the auto supplier Rehau Group — with corporate headquarters in Switzlerland but operations based in Germany — said it is suspending operations in both Russia and Belarus. Belarus has supported the Russian invasion.
Officials with Brussels-based Solvay said in March 7 news release that the firm "is deeply concerned by the dramatic humanitarian crisis that is unfolding as a result of the hostilities in Ukraine." In addition to suspending operations and new investments, Solvay also is suspending dividend payments from Rusvinyl LLC, an independent 50/50 joint venture in Russia.
Rusvinyl operates a 500-employee plant in Kstovo with annual production capacities of more than 700 million pounds of PVC resin and almost 500 million pounds of caustic soda. Solvay owns the firm jointly with Russian petrochemicals firm Sibur.
The Solvay Solidarity Fund also has donated 1 million euros ($1.1 million) to the Belgian and International Red Cross in support of relief efforts for civilians impacted in Ukraine. These funds will help provide access to clean water, medicine and medical equipment, repair vital infrastructure and improve living conditions for families. Solvay has also committed to matching employees' private donations to help address the growing humanitarian needs.
"Solvay is deeply saddened by the loss of life and suffering in Ukraine," CEO Ilham Kadri said. "Our top priority has been the safety of our colleagues in Ukraine. We are taking action to support the ongoing humanitarian efforts to ease the suffering of those impacted by this crisis.
"We stand behind all our employees, including our Ukrainian and Russian colleagues in such an unprecedented crisis, and will provide all the necessary support, including salaries and benefits," she added. "We thank them all for their continued dedication and resilience."
Solvay is a global supplier of plastics and specialty chemicals. The firm employs more than 23,000 worldwide and posted sales of $11 billion in 2021.