BERLIN:  German wholesaler Metro said on Wednesday it is still active in Russia and Ukraine and its unit in Russia is paying salaries and suppliers via international banks not affected by sanctions imposed since the invasion of Ukraine.

Metro feels responsible for its more than 10,000 employees in Russia, a spokesperson said: "These people have no personal responsibility for the aggression against Ukraine."

Metro also said that 21 of its 26 stores in Ukraine are open.

Metro, which has 93 stores in Russia, saw sales in the country rise 18% in the first quarter of its 2021/22 fiscal year to 798 million euros ($884 million), more than 10% of its total. ($1 = 0.9029 euros) (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Maria Sheahan)