The biggest music group in the world. closes shop in Russia — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

Universal Music Group says move is in line with international sanctions on Russia

Universal Music Group, the world’s largest record label, announced that it was suspending all operations and closing its offices in Russia. The music company has joined a growing list of international companies exiting the Russian market amid Moscow’s military offensive against Ukraine.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Dutch-American company called for a “end the violence in Ukraine as soon as possible.“Universal Music Group added that he was”respect international sanctions,“while working at”support humanitarian relief efforts to provide emergency aid to refugees in the region.

Last Thursday, major audio streaming platform Spotify announced that it was closing its Moscow office indefinitely. On top of that, the streaming service has pledged to remove all content from RT and Sputnik. Spotify, however, did not limit access to the platform to Russian users.

Since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine on February 24, a number of foreign artists, including Iggy Pop, Green Day, The Killers, Gorillaz and Slipknot, have canceled their tour dates in Russia.

According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Russia was among the top 20 global music markets in 2020, with recorded music sales totaling $199 million that year.

A number of international companies have ceased operations in Russia over the past two weeks, including McDonald’s, Starbucks and OBI.

It should be noted that many of these companies are only talking about temporary closures so far. Some Russian experts believe that their decisions may not be so much favorable to Ukraine as timely at a time when the national currency, the ruble, is highly volatile.

Announcing the decision to deploy troops to Ukraine in a televised address to the Russian people in late February, President Vladimir Putin claimed that neo-Nazi militias had permeated all levels of government in the neighboring country. He also accused Kyiv of carrying out what he described as the “genocideof the Russian-speaking population of the separatist republics of Donbass. According to Putin, NATO planned to draw Ukraine into the military alliance and build bases there. All of these factors forced Russia to take military action, the president said, with the “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine being the main objectives of the operation.

Kiev and its Western allies, however, reject Putin’s claims as a pretext for “unprovokedaggression against a sovereign state, claiming that its real objective in Ukraine is the installation of a pro-Russian puppet government.

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