STOCKHOLM (AP) — Ikea said Wednesday that it is seeking new owners for its four factories in Russia and to liquidate its product inventory there because of the war in Ukraine.

The world’s biggest furniture brand already had suspended operations at its 17 Russian stores and paused exports and imports involving the country. It also paused operations in Belarus, which is a Russian ally.

“The war in Ukraine has already had a terrible impact on so many people’s lives. It is a human tragedy that is continuing to affect people and communities,” Ikea said in a statement on its website.

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“Unfortunately the circumstances have not improved and the devastating war continues,” the flat-pack furnishings retailer said. “Businesses and supply chains across the world have been heavily impacted and we do not see that it is possible to resume operations any time soon.”

The companies that control Ikea operations in Belarus and Russia therefore “have now each decided to enter a new phase to further scale down,” the statement said.

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Ikea said imports and exports of products to and from Russia and Belarus will remain stopped, and that the purchase and logistics offices in Moscow and Minsk will close permanently.

Ikea was founded by Swedish entrepreneur Ingvar Kamprad, who turned a small-scale mail order business started on his family’s farm into a furniture empire in 1943 by letting customers piece together his simple and inexpensive furniture themselves.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the Ukraine-Russia war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine