The carrier says it made the decision after Kiev branded the Swiss corporation a “war sponsor”
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has removed the popular Nesquik chocolate drink from its in-flight menus after its Swiss manufacturer Nestle was listed as a “war sponsor” by Ukrainian authorities last month, according to Norway’s TV2 news outlet.
Since the launch of Russia’s military campaign against Ukraine last year, Kiev has repeatedly demanded that all Western companies completely shut down their businesses in Russia. Those who refused have been branded by Ukraine’s National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NACP) as “international sponsors of war.”
The NACP’s list, however, does not actually have any legal power and primarily serves as a shaming mechanism intended to inflict reputational damage on companies who refuse to sever ties with Russia.
In a statement sent to TV 2, SAS confirmed on Monday that it was respecting Kiev’s blacklist and had removed Nesquik drinking chocolate from its on-board range, adding that the airline was also in “talks with a small selection of suppliers to understand their plans for the way forward.”
The airline had previously also removed products from Mondelez and Pepsi, which have similarly been blacklisted by Kiev.
During the mass exodus of Western businesses from Russia last year, Nestle CEO Mark Schneider argued that access to products was a basic human right and a key value for the company, which was why it refused to completely cease its operations in the country. Nestle employs more than 7,000 workers in Russia, most of whom are locals, the company also noted.
Nevertheless, Nestle, the world’s largest food-and-beverage company, says it has “drastically reduced” its presence on the Russian market, which now accounts for only 2% of its global activities. The company suspended investments and advertising, and stopped exports and imports of non-essential food products, such as Nespresso coffee and San Pellegrino water.
Last year, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmigal and President Vladimir Zelensky publicly criticized Nestle for refusing to leave Russia, and accused Schneider of “showing no understanding” about the “side effects” of paying taxes into Russia’s budget.
Kiev has so far labeled a total of 45 companies from 17 countries, including the US, China, Germany and France, as “war sponsors.” They include Leroy Merlen, Metro, PepsiCo, Unilever, Bonduelle, Bacardi, Procter & Gamble, Mars, Xiaomi, Yves Rocher, Alibaba, and Geely.
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