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Ukraine designates Nestle int’l sponsor of war for business in Russia

Despite the Swiss food industry leader Nestlé’s pledge to suspend exports and imports to Russia, except for essential goods, Russian store shelves remain stocked with Nestlé products.
Credit: Depositphotos
Ukraine designates Nestle int’l sponsor of war for business in Russia

Ukraine’s National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NAZK) has added Swiss corporation Nestlé to its list of international sponsors of war due to the company’s continued operations in Russia, according to an announcement on the NAZK’s website.

The agency stated that despite Russia accounting for just over 2% of Nestlé’s global revenue, the company has yet to exit the Russian market. “Nestlé continues operating in Russia, supplying goods to the aggressor state and expanding its Russian production base. This became the basis for adding the company to the list of international sponsors of war,” the NAZK said.

As of early 2022, the Swiss company had seven factories in Russia and employed over 7,000 people there, operating through its Russian subsidiary Nestlé Russia LLC, per the statement. In 2021, Nestlé Russia paid over $25 million in taxes, however, it has not released financial data for 2022.

Additionally, the NAZK noted that in April 2023, Nestlé Russia’s management asked Russia’s Finance Ministry to limit public access to financial reports of the company’s Russian subsidiaries, likely to avoid sanctions.

Nestlé also imported $374 million worth of semi-finished products and raw materials to Russia in 2022, and $271 million worth in just the first nine months of 2023. This provides additional evidence that imports have continued despite Nestlé’s pledge to suspend them except for essential goods.

After Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began, Nestlé said it would suspend exports and imports to Russia, except for essential goods. Yet Russian store shelves remain stocked with Nestlé products like breakfast cereals, soups, chocolate bars, and coffee, the agency pointed out.

In October 2022, Nestlé brought technical equipment into Russia disguised as dry milk powder, as evidenced by a court case, showing it is not only importing raw materials for essential goods as claimed, but also trying to covertly supply Russia with technological equipment.

“By remaining in Russia, Nestlé once again shows the world that cooperating with the aggressor is normal, and demonstrates to Russia itself that it remains integrated into global processes, despite the war crimes and murder of thousands of Ukrainians,” The NAZK summarized.

Nestlé is one of the world’s largest food companies, with over 2,000 brands globally, including KitKat, Nescafé, and Nesquik.

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