Economic crisis ends Russian Volvo race challenge

Team Russia has withdrawn from the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race because of insufficient funding during the worldwide economic crisis, team backer Oleg Zherebtsov said.

“By this stage in the Volvo campaign we had intended to find sponsorship, but this process has been impacted by the global economic situation,” Zherebtsov, the founder of a Russian hypermarket chain, announced late Tuesday.

He said he had been financing the team with his own money in anticipation of sponsorship, which did not come about.

Team Russia said it had “suspended” racing after arriving in Singapore at the end of the race’s third stage.

Teams completed the third stage from Kochi, India on Tuesday. Spanish yacht Telefonica Blue sailed into the city-state first, snatching the lead from Sweden’s Ericsson 4 as the boats headed for the finish.

The US entry Puma Ocean Racing grabbed second place, just ahead of the all-Nordic crew of Ericsson 3. Race favourite Ericsson 4 came fourth.

Teams are to leave Singapore on January 18 for Qingdao, China on the fourth stage of the event.

The race, one of the most arduous in sport, will end in St Petersburg, Russia, in June after nine months negotiating 10 stages over 37,000 nautical miles at sea.


Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

Swedish network equipment maker Ericsson said Monday that it was suspending all of its Russian operations over the war in Ukraine for the foreseeable future.

Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

The telecom giant already announced in late February that it would stop all deliveries to Russia following Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

“In the light of recent events and of European Union sanctions, the company will now suspend its affected business with customers in Russia indefinitely,” Ericsson said in a statement.

The company added that it was “engaging with customers and partners regarding the indefinite suspension of the affected business.”

“The priority is to focus on the safety and well-being of Ericsson employees in Russia and they will be placed on paid leave,” it said.

READ ALSO: How has Sweden responded to Putin’s war in Ukraine so far?

Hundreds of Western firms ranging from Ikea to Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs and McDonald’s have stopped operations in the country since the invasion, with French banking group Societe Generale announcing Monday it was selling its stake in Russia’s Rosbank.

Ericsson has around 600 employees in Russia, and is a “major supplier to the largest operator MTS and the fourth largest operator Tele2,” a company spokeswoman told AFP, adding that together with Ukraine, Russia accounts for less than two percent of revenue.

As a result, the equipment maker said it would record a provision for 900 million Swedish kronor ($95 million, 87 million euros) for the first quarter of 2022 for “impairment of assets and other exceptional costs,” though no staff redundancy costs were included.
Ericsson is due to publish its first quarter earnings on April 14.