War in Ukraine: Auchan suspected of having contributed to the Russian war effort, the management declares itself “very surprised”

Does Auchan help Russia? The French distributor, which continued its activity in Russia after the outbreak of the conflict, unlike many other groups, “seems to be contributing to the Russian war effort”writing The world (article reserved for subscribers)Friday, February 17. “We are very surprised”reacted to AFP the management of the group, property of the Mulliez Family Association (AFM). “We are in the process of verifying the asserted elements, but, to date, the elements in our possession do not corroborate” the investigation of Worldshe continues.

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According to documents obtained by the French daily, the investigative site The Insider and the NGO Bellingcat, a collection of products intended for Vladimir Putin’s army, worth a total of 2 million rubles (about 25,000 euros ), was organized within the local Auchan subsidiary.

The world reports that on March 15, 2022, a company management controller had drawn up a list of equipment sent by email “to about 20 employees at several stores in St. Petersburg, western Russia, in an effort to ‘collect donations for humanitarian aid'”. This list included “thousands of cigarettes, wool socks size 43 or 44, canisters of gas stoves, canned pork stew, axes and nails, all from the store’s stock”continues the daily.

Auchan is for kyiv “a full-fledged weapon of Russian aggression”

Group management notes that “the only elements brought date from March 2022”i.e. a few weeks after the outbreak of the conflict, and that in this case, “the contacts who placed the order were regular contacts, who had already placed an order with us beforehand”. “We do not finance or participate voluntarily and actively in any collection intended for the Russian forces”continues the management.

These explanations obviously did not convince kyiv. In a message posted on Twitter (in English)the head of Ukrainian diplomacy Dmytro Kouleba accused Auchan of having become a “full-fledged weapon of Russian aggression”. “I intend to discuss it with my French counterpart” Catherine Colonna, added the Ukrainian Foreign Minister.

The fifth-largest food retailer in France in terms of market share (behind E.Leclerc, Carrefour, Intermarché and Système U) had a long-standing presence in Ukraine and Russia, where before the war it achieved one-tenth of its total sales. Another sign from the Mulliez galaxy, Leroy Merlin, is also very present there, to the point of dominating the DIY market in Russia.

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