OREANDA-NEWS  The American tobacco company Philip Morris International (PMI) will prefer to keep its business in Russia rather than sell it on unfavorable terms for shareholders. This was stated by the company's executive director Jacek Olczak in an interview with the Financial Times on Wednesday.

"I can't just lose patience and give it all up. This is their [shareholders'] money, not mine, and I manage this money in their interests," Olchak told the publication. - If I had a buyer who could carry out the necessary transactions, then yes, we would go for it, but there is no such thing."

In the October financial statements, the company estimated the value of assets in Russia at $2.6 billion. According to the top manager, "there is no hope" that they will be able to be implemented on acceptable terms. For this reason, Olchak believes that "it is better to save everything." He stressed that this is a necessary measure, since all attempts to exit the business in Russia without excessive losses, undertaken by Philip Morris last year, failed. At the moment, the company has frozen investments in new projects in the Russian Federation and reduced the scope of its activities.

Olchak also added that if Philip Morris finds a buyer and gets the deal approved, it will insist on the possibility of buying back its assets and returning to Russia after the end of the conflict in Ukraine. He also rejected accusations from Ukrainian officials that foreign companies finance the Russian army if they pay taxes to the budget of the Russian Federation.

"I don't support anyone," Olchak said. "I just found myself trapped in this situation."

Philip Morris International (brands Marlboro, L&M, IQOS and others) has previously considered options for business restructuring in Russia, including the transfer of assets. PMI owns two full-cycle factories in Russia: in the Leningrad Region and the Krasnodar Territory. According to the company, now it has solved the main issues with logistics and production has reached a stable level, regularly supplying the entire range of products to the Russian market. The company has more than 3.2 thousand employees in the country.