Veolia continues its ‘vital’ operations in Russia

Rubbish and recycling contractor is among a handful of UK companies with major public funding deals that have not ceased trading after Ukraine invasion

Friday, 22nd April — By Tom Foot

veolia philafrnzy detail wiki comm

Westminster City Council has a £50million-a-year contract with Veolia [philafrenzy Wikimedia Commons detail]

WESTMINSTER City Council’s rubbish and recycling contractor has defended its decision to continue operating in Russia.

Veolia is one of a handful of UK companies with major public funding contracts that have not ceased trading in Russia despite sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine.

The council has a £50million-a-year contract with the French company that runs until 2024.

A Veolia spokesperson told Extra the company considered itself to be complying with sanctions policy, adding: “We utterly condemn war and violence in Ukraine. We are providing absolutely no new funding for our operations in Russia and have stopped all new investment and all financial flows between the group and our Russian subsidiary. In full compliance with the current sanctions regime, we are maintaining our responsibility to our employees and the communities we serve by continuing our vital public service operations in both Ukraine and Russia.”

According to its most recent accounts, the Veolia group’s “exposure” to Russia and Ukraine is “very limited” and is worth around €120million, around 0.3 per cent of the company’s total revenue.

Several companies have stopped operating in Russia because of the war in Ukraine.

Earlier this month the Ukrainian parliament drafted legislation that aims to impose higher tax rates on residents and companies linked to Russia, as well as employees of those firms still conducting business in the country.

Ministers there have called for similar legislation to be adopted in the UK and the British government “should be imposing a heavier tax burden on those companies which have yet not left the Russian markets”.

A UK government spokesperson said: “We have been clear from the outset that public money should not fund [Vladimir] Putin’s war machine. Firms should think very carefully about their investments in Russia and how they may aid the Putin regime. There is no case for new investments in Russia.”

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