WSP exits Russia projects amid war in Ukraine, sanctions

11 March 2022 1 min. read
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WSP Global, a Montreal-headquartered design and engineering consulting firm, said it will quit its current projects in Russia.

The firm in its quarterly earnings report – released on Wednesday – said it will exit the limited number of ongoing projects it has in Russia and will no longer be pursuing projects in Russia and Belarus.

WSP has no employees or offices in Russia, Belarus, or Ukraine, and its current exposure under the current assignments is expected to be under $1 million.

The firm also announced an initial donation of $50,000 to UNICEF and $50,000 to the UNHCR to support their work assisting refugees in Ukraine and neighboring regions.

WSP exits Russia projects amid war in Ukraine, sanctions

WSP joins a number of Canadian firms suspending operations, projects, or sales in Russia in response to the country’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and resultant economic sanctions. Convenience store retailer Couch-Tard is suspending its operations in Russia, where it has 38 stores, while commercial real estate firm Colliers and law firm Norton Rose Fulbright are ending their businesses in the country.

In the professional services world, the Big Three strategy firms said they would stop working with state-owned companies in Russia and the Big Four accountancies severed ties with their Russian member firms.

WSP’s major Canadian rivals have yet to announce a Russia pullback. Gordon Johnston, CEO of Stantec, told analysts on February 27 that it had pulled out of Ukraine last year, but did not address the company’s exposure in Russia. The Edmonton-based firm has no offices in Russia.

SNC-Lavalin, meanwhile, has been attempting to divest from a joint venture with Rosneft, the Russian state-controlled oil firm, according to a report from The Narwhal. The Montreal-based company has an office in Moscow.

BP announced last week that it was exiting its 20% stake in Rosneft.