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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is shown on a giant screen after delivering a live voice message to the Swiss Parliament in Bern, Switzerland, March 19. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky challenges Nestlé for the continuation of the Swiss company’s relations with Russia.

“‘Good food good life.’ This is the slogan of Nestlé. Your company that refuses to leave Russia,” Zelensky said on Saturday during an address to the Swiss people. “Even now, when Russia threatens other European countries. Not only against us. When there is even nuclear blackmail from Russia.

Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company and maker of Gerber, KitKat and Dreyer’s ice cream, has defended itself by pointing out that it has made sweeping changes since Russia invaded Ukraine. .

“We have significantly reduced (our) activities in Russia: we have stopped all imports and exports from Russia, except for essential products,” a Nestlé spokesperson said in a statement to CNN. “We no longer invest or advertise our products. We make no profit from our remaining business.

Nestlé employs more than 7,000 people in Russia, most of whom are locals, the company previously said.

“The fact that we, like other food companies, are providing people with important food does not mean that we are just carrying on 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.”

The Swiss company announced on March 11 that it suspended exports of its products outside of Russia except for essential foods like baby food. Nestlé also said it has stopped importing Nespresso and other products into Russia, except for essential foods such as baby food, cereals, tailored nutrition and therapeutic pet food.

Nestlé said at the time that it was “shocked and deeply saddened by the invasion of Ukraine” and that the company stands with the international community in calling for peace and the restoration of security and stability.

Last week Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal criticized Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider for the company’s continued presence in Russia.

“Unfortunately he shows no understanding,” Shmyhal wrote on Twitter after saying he spoke to the CEO of Nestlé. “To pay taxes to the budget of a terrorist country is to kill defenseless children and mothers. I hope Nestlé changes its mind soon.

Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.