Ikea told Swedish news agency TT that the decision would affect about 15,000 employees in the two countries.
The company called the war in Ukraine a humanitarian tragedy, but also blamed major disruptions in supply chains and business operations for businesses now on hiatus.
Close department stores
Ikea temporarily suspended all exports and imports to and from Russia and Belarus, and stopped production they had there. Deliveries from subcontractors have also been suspended.
All Ikea department stores in Russia and Belarus have also been closed, said Tolga ncü, who is responsible for Ikea retail within the Ingka Group, which owns Ikea department stores around the world.
Ikea also operates a shopping center in Russia under the Mega brand. They will continue to be open, says ncü.
The company said it would first and foremost take care of staff safety, and look after staff and their families by ensuring payment of three months’ wages.
Ikea issued a press release on Thursday in which they expressed their empathy and concern for the millions of people affected. However, there was no criticism of Russia’s actions or condemnation of the invasion.
To help the many people fleeing the war, Ikea will donate 20 million euros, more than 200 million kroner, to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In addition, they donate large sums to other aid organizations.
“Hardcore zombie fan. Incurable internet advocate. Subtly charming problem solver. Freelance twitter ninja.”