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'We strongly condemn the actions of the Russian government': Cummins suspends all commercial operation in Russia

The company previously told 13News it was evaluating its business operations in Russia on a "day-to-day basis."

INDIANAPOLIS — Cummins is suspending all commercial operations in Russia indefinitely as the attacks on Ukraine continue.

The board of directors made the decision Thursday, March 17, citing the safety and wellbeing of those whose lives have been affected by the invasion.

Cummins is now taking steps to quickly stop its operations in Russia.

"We strongly condemn the actions of the Russian government, which is putting millions of innocent people at risk and turning millions of Ukrainian citizens into refugees," Cummins said in a statement. "That concern also extends to our 700 employees and thousands of end-user customers in Russia and the impact on citizens who are not participants in this invasion."

On Monday, Cummins spokesman Jon Mills told 13News senior investigative reporter Bob Segall that the company was evaluating its business operations in Russia on a "day-to-day basis."

"Our main concern right now is for the people of Ukraine. We are horrified by what's going on,” Mills said. “But we have 700 employees in Russia. They are not participating in the war and we care about them, too. We don't want to turn our backs on those employees any more than we would turn our backs on employees here in Indiana."

Indiana-based Cummins opened an office in Moscow in 1985, and later announced a joint venture with KAMAZ, Russia's largest truck manufacturer. Russian President Vladimir Putin toured the Cummins KAMA manufacturing facility in Naberezhyne Chelny, Russia, in 2009, and with good reason.

KAMAZ is largely owned by a Russian state-owned defense company, created by Putin, that supplies parts for Russian military vehicles. Cummins told 13News its Russian-produced engines are used for civil, agricultural and non-defense uses, and that its contracts strictly prohibit Cummins engines from being used by the Russian military.

RELATED: Eli Lilly shifts business in Russia as war in Ukraine escalates

But earlier this month, an auto industry blog claimed Cummins engines can be found inside many Russian military vehicles, including the GAZ Tigr. The Tigr is Russia’s version of the popular Humvee military transport vehicle, which is currently transporting Russian troops in their attack against Ukraine.

Cummins insists that claim is “completely false and inaccurate,” again pointing to signed agreements with GAZ and KAMA that prohibit its engines from being used for Russian military purposes. (The company declined to provide 13News with a copy of those agreements.)

Despite having contracts that prevent Cummins engines from being used for defense, the company says it has temporarily decided to stop producing engines in Russia that are larger than 400 horsepower. 

“We want to ensure there are not engines large enough to be used for military or defense purposes,” Mills told 13News. He said the company has also suspended production of marine engines, as well as parts for those engines.

Click here to read the company's full statement.

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