Ikea cuts off Russia

The company founder talks to a radio station about refusing to bribes

Ikea operates successfully in dozens of countries around the world, but it recently decided it won’t invest any more money in a country as corrupt as Russia. In a rare interview, the company’s founder told a Swedish radio station that Ikea refuses to solve problems in Russia by paying bribes. He noted that the company’s refusal to slip money under the table there has resulted in millions of dollars in overcharging for electricity. Ikea’s stores in Russia have been shut down several times by inspectors on their opening day for random reasons. In one case, an official said the store had not been built to withstand hurricane-force winds. Ikea pointed out that that part of Russia has never had winds of that magnitude. Ikea’s rebuke is an embarrassing blow to Russia, which has made cutting corruption a national priority. The concern now is that other major Western companies could follow Ikea’s lead.

The New York Times

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