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Colliers exits Russia, Couche-Tard suspends operations

Canadian companies are re-examining operations in the country following its attack on Ukraine

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. says it is suspending its operations in Russia, effectively immediately, while Colliers International is ending its business in Russia and Belarus.

Couche-Tard chief executive Brian Hannasch condemned Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the impact it is having for both Ukrainians and Russians.

The Quebec-based convenience store retailer said it is implementing plans to take care of its Russian employees in a responsible and safe manner as it winds down its operations.

"Couche-Tard has had stores in Russia for nearly three decades, and we are proud of our Russian team members and their dedicated service to local customers and communities," he said in a news release.

Couche-Tard said it had operated under its primary brand Circle K in Russia. It has 38 stores located in St. Petersburg, Murmansk, and Pskov and more than 320 employees.

Meanwhile, commercial real estate firm Colliers said it had discontinued its business in Russia and Belarus, effective immediately, after more than 28 years of operations.

"I am appalled and saddened by the unnecessary loss of life and the displacement of millions of Ukrainians from their home. We cannot and will not stand idly by," stated global chairman and CEO Jay Hennick.

Colliers said its affiliate office in Kyiv was closed and all business operations in Ukraine had been suspended as it prioritizes the safety and welfare of its employees and clients.

The Toronto-based company said it was supporting Ukrainian colleagues who remain in country, those who are seeking refuge and their families.

It said operations in neighbouring countries are providing temporary accommodation, monetary support and other necessities.

Colliers said the company and senior leadership had donated to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal through the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian charities and is matching employee donations.

The moves follow announcements last week by several other Canadian companies who have also suspended operations in Russia.

Canadian pension funds and investment firms have also announced they are divesting their holdings in Russian companies.

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