Former European officials began withdrawing from the boards of Russian fully or partially state-controlled companies as the Russian Armed Forces confirmed it had launched its first airstrikes against military targets in Ukraine.
On Thursday, former Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said he had resigned as a member of the board of directors of the state-owned Russian Railways (RZD) over the company’s alleged involvement in “war logistics.”
“In the early hours of today, I informed the bodies of Joint Stock Company Russian Railways that I am immediately resigning my mandate on the board of directors. As of last night, RZD has actually become part of the war logistics. I deeply regret that,” Kern said as quoted by Austria’s newspaper Der Standard.
Meanwhile, Finland’s former prime minister, Esko Aho, has withdrawn from the board of Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, due to the latest developments in Ukraine.
“I have today initiated measures to withdraw from the board,” Aho told Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper on Tuesday.
A small number of less well-known foreigners also quit Russian companies on Thursday.
The news came hours after President Vladimir Putin ordered the operation to help the Donbass in response to the region’s request for assistance in countering what it called the aggression of the Ukrainian military forces.
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