Philip Morris may expand production in Ukraine after suspending business in Kharkiv Oblast
Due to the lack of a bomb shelter at the factory in Kharkiv region, Philip Morris cannot resume its work (Photo:pmi.com)
Philip Morris International (PMI), a U.S. multinational tobacco company, plans to launch “alternative” production facilities in Ukraine – instead of reopening its factory in Kharkiv Oblast, PMI President for Europe, Massimo Andolina, said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine news agency on May 18.
The company suspended production in Kharkiv Oblast at the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. Due to the lack of a bomb shelter at the facility, Philip Morris is still unable to resume its operation.
Andolina pointed out that after the shutdown of the factory, PMI supplied Ukraine with products from eight of the company’s plants abroad.
Later, in search of a solution that would allow resuming production in Ukraine, PMI signed an agreement to produce its brands at the facilities of the Imperial Tobacco in Kyiv.
However, according to the PMI representative, “we consider it our duty to launch our own alternative production, where we could resume the production of our goods in Ukraine.”
Andolina explained that one of the reasons is the desire to independently produce their products in Ukraine.
“And secondly, because we want to signal our commitment to Ukraine and that even in wartime, we are ready to invest in Ukraine,” he said.
He clarified that the company is currently actively searching for these alternatives.
“And I hope that we can soon announce investments in the launch of alternative production facilities until we have the opportunity to return to Kharkiv Oblast,” he added.
Shortly after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Philip Morris, like many other Western companies, announced its intention to withdraw from the Russian market, but has not yet done so.
In February 2023, PMI decided that it would be “better to keep” its business in Russia than to sell it on Kremlin’s terms.
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