Marriott hotel chain suspends all operations in Russia

Marriott International announced Friday that it would suspend all operations in Russia in light of the restrictions placed on the Russian economy over the country’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Marriott, which has operated in Russia for 25 years, said in a statement that “newly announced” restrictions the United States, European Union and United Kingdom placed on the Russian market make continuing operations “impossible.”

Marriott joins a group of hundreds of companies that have suspended operations in Russia after the conflict began, including Disney, FedEx and Ikea, according to a list from Yale University’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute

Marriott’s statement did not specify which restrictions or sanctions led to its decision.

The West has placed a wide range of sanctions on the Russian economy, including those that would curtail new financial investment in the country. The U.S. has sanctioned Russian banks, oligarchs with ties to the Kremlin and even Russian President Vladimir Putin himself.

In March, President Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports to the U.S.

And most recently, the White House announced new steps taken by the U.S. Treasury to sanction more Russian government officials, business leaders, and luxury asset management and service companies “key to Russian attempts to evade sanctions.”

The European Union (EU) announced that it had officially adopted a sanctions package that would ban oil imports from Russia. The sanctions package is the sixth levied by the EU thus far and will phase out the imports of Russian crude oil over the next six months. The EU will phase out refined petroleum imports over eight months.

Marriott announced in March that it would close its corporate office in Moscow and pause the openings of new hotels in Russia. 

“As we take steps to suspend hotel operations in Russia, we remain focused on taking care of our Russia-based associates,” Marriott’s statement read.  

Marriott said the company has worked to support its associates in Russia, Ukraine and the entire region throughout the conflict, transferring employees to Marriott locations in other countries. Marriott has also provided more than $1 million in the form of food vouchers, transportation assistance, and medical and legal aid for its local employees and their families to help them resettle, according to the statement. 

The chain said it has also taken steps to support Ukrainian refugees, providing housing in 85 of its hotels in neighboring countries and donating $2.7 million to relief organizations in the area. Marriott has hired more than 250 refugees in more than 40 of its hotels so far, the statement said. 

“We continue to join our associates and millions of people around the world in wishing for an end to the current violence and the start of a path towards peace,” Marriott said.