UKRAINE – Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, has committed to further scale down activities in Russia following Ukraine’s protest for the company’s continued presence in the federation. 

The Swiss conglomerate said its activities in Russia will focus solely on providing essential food — such as infant food and hospital nutrition — as opposed to making a profit. 

“Going forward, we are suspending renowned Nestlé brands such as KitKat and Nesquik, among others,” Nestle said.  

“We have already halted non-essential imports and exports into and out of Russia, stopped all advertising, and suspended all capital investment in the country. Of course, we are fully complying with all international sanctions on Russia.” 

Nestlé added that it is not expecting to be profitable in Russia but will donate any profit it does make to humanitarian relief organizations. 

The company has faced growing criticism in recent days for remaining in Russia, even as many international companies and global brands have suspended operations in the country.  

Last week, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal tweeted that he had spoken to Nestlé’s CEO about the consequences of remaining in the Russian market, but that he did not appear to understand. 

“Paying taxes to the budget of a terrorist country means killing defenseless children & mothers,” he wrote. “Hope that Nestlé will change its mind soon.” 

Zelenskyy doubled down on the criticism of Nestlé in a speech that was broadcast to the people of Switzerland on Saturday, as CBS News and others have reported. 

Despite the pressure, Nestle which employs 7,000 people in Russia continues to defend itself, with a Nestlé spokesperson telling CNN that it had “significantly scaled back” its activities in Russia. 

“The fact that we, like other food companies, supply the population with important food does not mean that we simply continue as before,” Nestlé said.  

“We are still one of the few active food companies in Ukraine and sometimes even manage to distribute food in Kharkiv,” referring to Ukraine’s second-largest city, which has been especially hard hit by Russian shelling in recent days. 

On Wednesday, the company said it has already contributed hundreds of tons of food supplies and “significant” financial assistance to the people of Ukraine and refugees in neighboring countries, efforts that it said will continue. 

To further show its support for Ukrainians, a page on Nestlé’s website details what it is doing to help Ukraine including partnering with the local Red Cross and area food banks to distribute essential food, beverages to refugees.  

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