Belgian supermarkets remove all Russian products from shelves

Belgian supermarkets remove all Russian products from shelves
Supermarket chain Delhaize sells just two Russians items, including vodka. Credit: Belga

The few Russian products that were being sold in supermarkets in Belgium will no longer be sold in most stores as a result of the country's invasion of Ukraine.

There are very few Russian products available in Belgium's regular supermarkets, but those who do usually stock some items have already or will soon remove these from their shelves, according to a survey by Belga News Agency.

Both Aldi and Carrefour noted they don't have any Russian products in their assortment in Belgium, while Delhaize sells two items: vodka and Red King Crab, both of which will not be on the shelves for the time being.

Spokesperson Roel Dekelver said this was not in retaliation or about a boycott action, but that it is due to the economic sanctions against Russia, that make it difficult to get the products here. However, vodka from other countries will still be available in Delhaize's stores.

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Meanwhile, Colruyt sells fewer than 30 products from Russia, including both food and non-food items, representing a "very limited turnover for the company." It stated that it would not be ordering any new products from the country "at least as long as the hostilities against Ukraine continue."

The supermarket chain stopped its orders from the country last weekend and is looking for alternatives, while a spokesperson added that it will continue to place orders in Ukraine as much as possible, although the number of products from that country is also very limited.

H&M, IKEA and Apple amid companies taking steps

Belgian supermarket Colruyt isn't the only business announcing action against Russia for its invasion of Russia. H&M Group, which also includes the brands Monki, Weekday, & Other Stories, H&M HOME and ARKET, said it would be temporarily pausing all sales in Russia, adding that stores in Ukraine have already been temporarily closed due to the safety of customers and colleagues.

"H&M Group is deeply concerned about the tragic developments in Ukraine and stand with all the people who are suffering. The situation is continuously monitored and evaluated," it said.

Meanwhile, tech giant Apple has also taken a number of actions in response to Russia's attacks, including pausing all product sales in Russia and limiting Apple Pay and other services.

"We have disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens," a company statement read.

Swedish furniture store IKEA on Thursday said it would be pausing operations both in Russia and Belarus, which allowed the country to use its territory as a launching pad to invade Ukraine.

"The war has had a huge human impact already. It is also resulting in serious disruptions to supply chain and trading conditions. For all of these reasons, the company groups have decided to temporarily pause IKEA operations in Russia," a company statement read.

It will pause all export and import in and out of Russia and Belarus, as well as any production operations in Russia.

Other companies that have already suspended their services or closed their corporate presence in Russia include Microsoft, BP, Shell, Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen, Boeing, Airbus, Lufthansa, Meta, Google, Twitter, YouTube, Spotify, Disney, Warner, Sony, Netflix, among others.

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