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Auchan under indictment: "Supplies the Russian army"

Ukrainian foreign minister points finger at French multinational, which denies it

The French retail chain Auchan is allegedly "a weapon of Russian aggression". The accusation comes directly from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, following an investigation report, according to which Auchan is allegedly supplying its goods to Moscow's army. "Last year I urged the world to boycott Auchan for failing to withdraw from Russia and stop funding war crimes. However, the reality seems to be much worse: Auchan has evolved into a full-fledged weapon of Russian aggression", Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter.

According to a joint report by the French newspaper Le Monde and the investigative websites The Insider and Bellingcat, Auchan's branch in Russia allegedly supplied the Russian army with products worth 2 million roubles ($ 27,000). Citing an anonymous source, the investigation adds that this supply was allegedly made free of charge.

As a company, Auchan said it was "very surprised" by the reports and pointed out that the only items it had provided for the investigation "date back to March 2022", a few weeks after the start of Russia's invasion. "We do not voluntarily and actively fund or participate in any fundraising for Russian forces", the Group stated. In a Facebook post, the Ukrainian branch of Auchan said it was 'shocked' by the news.

Auchan is a rare case of a Western company (another is Leroy Merlin, also French) that continued its business in Russia even after the outbreak of war. "Abandoning our employees, their families and our customers is not our choice", the multinational had declared on 27 March 2022. Although Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky had urged French companies to withdraw from the Russian market, Auchan did not do so, claiming it wanted to meet the population's "essential food needs".

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EFA News - European Food Agency