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Ukraine anti-corruption agency labels Nestle a 'sponsor of war' for doing business in Russia

Montage of Nestle products and military-like rations by Ukraine's National Agency on Corruption Prevention.

The Ukrainian government's anti-corruption agency has added Nestle to its blacklist of companies that continue to do business with Russia, labeling the global food giant an "international sponsor of war."

Nestle joins fellow food conglomerates Unilever, PepsiCo and Mars and 41 other companies on the list of Ukraine's National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) for continuing to do business in Russia after it invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 of last year. Inclusion on the list carries no legal consequences and the NACP says it's meant to cause "reputational" damage only.

"By continuing to work in the Russian market, Nestle is once again demonstrating to the world its willingness to collaborate with the aggressor state," the NACP said in announcing the decision. "Nestle’s Russia business also demonstrates to Russia itself that it continues to be integrated into the global market, despite numerous war crimes committed in Ukraine."

Nestle has not commented on its inclusion in the blacklist but it has repeatedly responded to criticism for its continued business in Russia by saying that it has stopped advertising and halted capital investments in the country and is fully complying with all sanctions on Russia. Nestle had about 7,000 employees in Russia before the war but it's not clear how many it has now.

The company has about 5,500 employees in Ukraine and started construction of another factory in the country last year even as the war continued.

"We stand with the people of Ukraine and our 5 500 employees there," Nestle said. "To date, Nestle has delivered more than CHF 20 million in product and monetary contributions to local humanitarian organizations in Ukraine and to help those displaced by the war in neighboring countries."

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