Photo above: State flag of Ukraine.
Dallas-based Mannatech Inc. has temporarily suspended its international operations in Ukraine, citing the “current political turmoil” and “ongoing instability” in the region.
Ukraine’s business environment has grown increasingly unfavorable amid mounting tensions between Russia and the West. Last Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of Crimea following what Western and Ukrainian leaders say was an “illegal” referendum. In a speech at the EU-US Summit in Brussels on Wednesday, President Barack Obama denounced Russia’s actions, threatening tougher sanctions and greater isolation should Putin continue to flout Ukrainian autonomy and international law.
“America and the world and Europe have an interest in a strong and responsible Russia, not a weak one,” The New York Times quotes Obama in his speech. “But that does not mean that Russia can run roughshod over its neighbors. Just because Russia has a deep history with Ukraine does not mean it should be able to dictate Ukraine’s future.”
The President has spent much of his time in Europe meeting with NATO leaders, rallying member nations in support of measures against Russia and economic recovery in Ukraine. The U.S. has already reinforced its presence in the region with the deployment of additional military forces to Poland and the Baltic states.
“We support the people of Ukraine and want to give them the best business opportunity available,” Alfredo Bala, Mannatech’s President of International and EVP of Sales and Marketing, said in a statement. “Unfortunately that is not possible under the current conditions so we will suspend operations for the time being as we monitor conditions in Ukraine.”