Cummins suspends operations in Russia


Cummins Inc. has joined a growing number of global companies that have suspended business operations in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

The Columbus-based company said Friday it is suspending all commercial operations in Russia indefinitely and is “taking steps to wind down operations expeditiously” as the attacks on Ukraine intensify and a peaceful resolution does not appear imminent.

The invasion, which is now in the fourth week, has claimed the lives of at least 691 people in Ukraine — including at least 48 children — and caused more than 3 million people to flee the country, the United Nations reported earlier this week.

Cummins, which employs about 700 people in Russia, had previously halted some of its operations in the country — including shipments of engines with more than 400 horsepower to customers in the country to ensure “those can’t be used improperly,” companies officials said earlier this month.

“Our primary concern has been and remains the safety and well-being of those whose lives have been affected by this alarming situation,” Cummins said in a statement Friday.

“We strongly condemn the actions of the Russian government, which is putting millions of innocent people at risk and turning millions of Ukrainian citizens into refugees. That concern also extends to our 700 employees and thousands of end user customers in Russia and the impact on citizens who are not participants in this invasion.”

The announcement from Cummins comes as international companies still operating in Russia are coming under increasing pressure to leave, The Associated Press reported.

Some seem to be determined to stay, some say they are reconsidering or trying to figure out an exit and some aren’t speaking at all — a testament to the fraught nature of the situation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is stepping up the country’s pleas to pressure companies to exit Russia, according to wire reports. In an address to Congress on Wednesday, he asked lawmakers to press U.S. businesses still operating in Russia to leave, saying the Russian market is “flooded with our blood.”

“Make sure that the Russians do not receive a single penny that they use to destroy our people in Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said.

In a separate Tuesday address, Zelenskyy called out food companies Nestle and Mondelez, consumer goods makers Unilever and Johnson and Johnson, European banks Raiffeisen and Societe General, electronics giants Samsung and LG, chemicals maker BASF and pharmaceuticals Bayer and Sanofi, saying they and “dozens of other companies” have not left the Russian market, according to wire reports.

The United States and its allies have already put a slew of sanctions in place aimed at crippling the Russian economy. Hundreds of international companies have announced they are curtailing operations in Russia.

Companies that have kept operations in Russia say they provide essential services, including food or medicine, that are unaffected by sanctions, according to wire reports. In some industries, like hotels or restaurants, it’s difficult to shut down because of franchising deals. They have said they don’t want to punish their employees.

Indianapolis-based drug maker Eli Lilly has said sanctions don’t apply to medicine and it has a responsibility to Russian patients.

In Russia, Cummins mainly sells engines in the agricultural sector, backup generators for hospitals and engines for smaller vehicles and electric truck and bus engines, among other products, but does not conduct any business there in the military or defense sectors, the company said.

Cummins has operated in one way or another in Russia since the mid-1970s when it started selling engines in imported mining dump trucks, according to the company.

In 2006, Cummins formed a joint venture with Kamaz to produce engines, according to the Cummins’ 2007 annual report. At the time, Cummins said it expected the joint ventures’ customers to include trucks, buses and agricultural equipment produced by other manufacturers in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

Rostec, a Russian state-owned conglomerate, holds a significant stake in Kamaz, according to the Russian company’s website.

Cummins has repeatedly said it is in compliance with all sanctions, export control requirements and company policies.

The company says it has mobilized its employees and resources to aid communities in the region. To provide immediate assistance for short-term emergency refugee needs, Cummins is starting with $250,000 in fast-tracked grants and is actively working with community organizations, especially in Romania and Poland, to determine how to assist as the refugees arrive in new communities.

“This decision is very difficult for our employees affected in Russia, our company, our communities and our customers,” Cummins said in a statement. “We have deep care and concern for our employees and are making every effort to minimize the impact on them. We are evaluating the best ways to support our employees during this difficult time in accordance with local laws and regulations.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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