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27 Mar, 2024 08:07

Ukrainian NGO calls for Milka chocolate boycott in Germany

Attacks on companies that do business in Russia continue despite Kiev shutting down its list of ‘international war sponsors’
Ukrainian NGO calls for Milka chocolate boycott in Germany

A Ukrainian group in Germany is pressuring retailers in the country to remove Milka chocolate from their shelves because its international producer continues to do business in Russia.

Kiev and NGOs supporting its cause had tried to shame foreign companies into cutting ties with Moscow through a list of ‘international sponsors of war’. The Ukrainian government shut it down last week, saying it was having a negative impact on support.

American multinational food giant Mondelez, which Ukraine blacklisted last May, was targeted on Monday by Vitsche, a Berlin-based Ukrainian pressure group. It called on retailers Rewe and Edeka to boycott its products, particularly Milka brand chocolate. In a post on X (formerly Twitter), it said, “morals should have a place in business.”

According to the news outlet RND, which reviewed a letter that Vitsche sent to German retailers, the Ukrainian group was reacting to remarks made by Mondelez International CEO Dirk Van de Put in an interview last month. The CEO said the company’s investors do not appear to have moral qualms about staying in Russia.

”If you have an important Russian business, the hit on the company would be huge, and that becomes a different discussion,” he told the Financial Times.

Like many other Western companies, Mondelez publicly condemned Moscow for its role in the Ukraine conflict, but declined to pull out of Russia.

Mondelez has advertised Milka as making Easter “more tender,” so the letter was also connected to the holiday celebrated by Catholics this weekend. The Ukrainian activists are also planning a rally on Saturday against what they call “false pacifism.”

Vitsche is aligned with Kiev’s official messaging on many issues. Both the Ukrainian envoy in Berlin and the NGO have slammed a proposal in Germany to treat as refugees Russians who fled their home country in 2022 after Moscow announced a partial military mobilization.

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