No more investments for companies supporting Russian aggression

No more investments for companies supporting Russian aggression

To: Matteo Patrone
Managing director,
Eastern Europe & Caucasus
EBRD

Dear Mr. Patrone,

It has been 40 days since Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine – after the invasion in 2014 – started. Ukraine’s largest cities are being destroyed, nuclear power plants are being shelled, thousands of civilians have been killed, more than three million refugees have already left Ukraine, and around 10 million people have been internally displaced.

International financial institutions and companies are announcing their exit from the Russian and Belarusian markets, showing united international support for Ukraine.

We highly appreciate EBRD’s reaction to the international law violation, environmental and humanitarian hazards caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. EBRD approved the €2 billion Resilience and Livelihoods Framework. Today, the Bank’s Governors voted for suspending investments in the Russian and Belarusian economies. 

However, the Bank’s clients see no contradiction in continuing their activities in Russia and Belarus. 

Kronospan has been one of the Banks’ clients since 2003 and received more than 800 mln Euro of EBRD investments. As an international manufacturer of wood-based panels, it has more than fifty factories worldwide. Six of those are still operating in Russia and two in Belarus. The international community calls to ban the import of all types of Russian and Belarusian timber and wood products (including all paper products, furniture and furniture parts, pellets and sawn wood)[1]. The European Parliament has already put Belarusian wood under sanctions, and it’s a matter of time before it will impose a wood import ban on Russia[2].

Meanwhile, there are two Kronospan sites in Ukraine that are still working.

Kronospan Foundation, Kronospan España, Kronospan Szczecinek and Kronospan Zvolen are providing Ukraine with humanitarian aid.  However, in terms of business and human rights principles in armed conflicts, we believe that the company has not done enough. Despite having its sites and offices in Ukraine, Kronospan has not yet expressed any position on the war on Ukraine publicly. Moreover, by continuing its activities in Russia and Belarus, Kronospan finances military aggression, invests in war crimes and deepens the humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine. 

Such actions of the company are contrary to the position of the EBRD. Therefore, we, civil society organizations listed below, ask the EBRD:

  • to engage with the client discussing their plans with regards to operations in Russia and Belarus;
  • to stop investing in projects of the companies that continue operating in Russia and Belarus;
  • to urge EBRD’s clients to suspend their activities in Russia and Belarus, and not to finance Russian aggression in Ukraine.

For more information, please, contact Ms Natalia Kholodova via email natalia@ecoclubrivne.org

Sincerely yours,

NGO Ecoclub

NGO Ecoaction


[1] More than 120 human rights, environmental and diaspora groups call on governments to ban Russian and Belarussian wood imports, according to Fern.

[2] Trade restrictions / import ban on Russian and Belarusian wood and timber products, European Parliamentary questions, 11.03.2022.

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