Ukraine brands Swiss food giant ‘sponsor of war’
Swiss food giant Nestle has been declared an “international sponsor of war” by the Ukrainian National Corruption Prevention Agency (NCPA) due to the multinational’s continued operations in Russia, according to an announcement by the agency on Thursday.
The NCPA’s statement on Telegram claimed that although the Russian market makes up just over 2% of Nestle's global activities, it has not yet “dared” to leave the country.
Nestle has claimed that the company has “drastically reduced” its portfolio in Russia since the onset of the Ukraine conflict but still provides locals with essential goods and fulfills its obligations toward its employees there.
Among the food giant’s most well-known brands are KitKat, Nescafé, Nesquik, and Nestea.
In its statement, the NCPA claimed that, in addition to importing raw materials to produce basic goods, the company has tried to “covertly send technological equipment to Russia for the development of its own business” in the country.
According to the latest ranking issued by Forbes, Nestle is in the top ten of the biggest Western firms remaining in Russia amid sanctions, with reported revenues of over $2 billion in 2022.
Ukraine’s list of international war sponsors has no legal power and is seen as a shaming mechanism with which Kiev attempts to inflict reputational damage on selected companies with significant business interests in Russia.
Almost 40 international brands, including PepsiCo, Mars, Unilever, Xiaomi, Bacardi, Procter & Gamble, Yves Rocher, and Alibaba (the owner of AliExpress) were added to the list over their alleged reluctance to leave the Russian market.
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