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Lego closes Russia business indefinitely, lays off 90 staff

·1-min read
Lego bricks logo is seen at a toy store in Bonn

(This content was produced in Russia where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine.)

MOSCOW/LONDON (Reuters) - Lego is closing its business in Russia indefinitely and laying off its 90 Moscow-based employees, owing to "extensive disruption" in the country, the Danish toymaker said on Tuesday.

Lego has terminated its contract with franchisee Inventive Retail Group (IRG) which owned and operated 81 stores on Lego's behalf.

IRG, which also operated shops in Russia for Western brands such as Nike and Samsung, said earlier on Tuesday that the contract with Lego had been terminated.

"LEGO Group has decided to indefinitely cease commercial operations in Russia given the continued extensive disruption in the operating environment," a Lego spokesperson said.

An IRG spokesperson said: "Our company will continue to work as an expert in the toy design and development category."

Lego paused shipments to Russia in March and said in June it was temporarily freezing some stores due to supply issues.

The Russian version of Inc. Magazine reported earlier on Tuesday that Lego was stopping commercial activities in Russia indefinitely and breaking off its contract with IRG.

Companies including Nike and Cisco have announced their departures from Russia in recent weeks as the pace of Western firms leaving accelerates after Russia sent troops into Ukraine in February in what it terms a "special operation".

(Reporting by Reuters and Richa Naidu in London; Editing by Jan Harvey and Bernadette Baum)

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