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Kyiv Names Nestle 'Sponsor of War' Over Russia Operations

Nestle factory in Perm. Sergei Rusanov / TASS

Kyiv on Thursday named Swiss food giant Nestle as a "sponsor of war" over the Kit Kat-maker's continued operations in Russia.

Hundreds of Western firms quit the Russian market following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February last year, and Kyiv has not shied away from publicly criticizing those that have remained.

"Despite Russian aggression, Nestle continues to operate in Russia, supply goods to the aggressor and expand its Russian production base," Ukraine's national anti-corruption agency said Thursday.

"This is the basis for the company being entered into the list of international sponsors of war," it added.

When asked to comment, Nestle referred AFP to a previous statement, in which the company said it had "drastically reduced" its portfolio in Russia.

Those comments also said the company had canceled all future investment, halted advertising and was "fully complying with all applicable international sanctions."

Nestle owns dozens of household food and drink brands, from Nescafe and Nestea to Haagen-Dazs ice cream and Purina pet food.

"We stand with the people of Ukraine and our 5,500 employees there," a statement on Nestle's website reads.

It says its operations in Russia are "focused on providing essential and basic foods to the local people."

Nestle employed around 7,000 people in Russia before the war and its 2022 annual report says it had six factories in the country.

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