Nestlé listed as an international war sponsor by Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency

Дата: 18 November 2023
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The National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) of Ukraine has listed the world’s biggest food maker, Nestlé, on its list of international war sponsors for continuing to sell goods and pay taxes in Russia.

According to the NACP, as of early 2022, the Swiss corporation operated seven factories in Russia.

Even though Nestlé’s earnings in Russia are only slightly over 2% of its global revenueі More than 25 million dollars in profit taxes as of 2021., the company has not yet decided to leave the Russian market. Nestlé explains this decision by citing the need to provide the Russian population with “essential products” and to take care of its 7000 employees.

The NACP pointed out that in April 2023, the management of Nestlé Russia LLC asked the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation to restrict public access to the operation and financial statements of the company’s subsidiaries. The purpose of this step was likely to avoid the imposition of sanctions on Nestlé’s subsidiaries.

The NACP’s analysis of Russian customs data reveals that in 2022, Nestlé imported 374 million dollars’ worth of semifinished products and raw materials into Russia, while during the first nine months of 2023 this figure stood at 271 million dollars.

When Nestlé announced the suspension of exports and imports to Russia, except for “essential and basic goods for the local people,” it gave the misleading impression that it planned to leave, according to Oleksandr Novikov, the head of the corruption prevention agency.

A report by Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung revealed that as of February 2023, the shelves of Russian stores are still full of Nestlé’s products. Among the products available are Bystrow breakfast cereals, Maggi soups and broth cubes, Purina pet food, chocolate bars, and Nespresso coffee.

Moreover, in October 2022, the company imported technical equipment into Russia under the guise of milk powder, as shown in Moscow Arbitration Court case No. A40-24044/2023. The NACP accuses the company of covertly sending technological equipment to Russia to further its business operations.

These facts provide ample evidence that the Swiss corporation has not learned its lesson from recent history, as highlighted by the NACP. During World War II, the company collaborated with both the aggressor and the victim, supplying foodstuffs to the German army while simultaneously exporting them to the Allies.

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

Ukraine’s Agency on Corruption Prevention

Western multinationals have been under public pressure to turn away from the Russian market following President Vladimir Putin’s [full-scale] invasion of Ukraine in 2022, comments international news agency Bloomberg.

Ukrainian authorities and experts emphasize that companies like Nestlé pose a threat to lives in Ukraine, as their taxes are being spent on the genocide of Ukrainians. Ukraine calls on countries to impose harsher sanctions on Russia, combat their circumvention, and urges international businesses to exit the Russian market in order to bring Russia back into compliance with the UN Charter, the Rome Statute of the ICC and the Geneva Conventions.

According to Bloomberg, Russia plans to spend around a third of its budget on the military next year.

ZMINA has sent information requests to Nestlé asking it to respond to the NACP’s statement. The company ignored the information request.

On November 6, 2023, the NL Times reported that Dutch companies seem to be circumventing the European sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine by exporting products to the country via Türkiye. The export of Dutch products to Russia has decreased since the sanctions. At the same time, Dutch exports to Türkiye increased explosively. According to Statistics Netherlands, in the second quarter of 2023, 869 million euros’ worth of Dutch sanctioned goods went to Türkiye – 91 percent more than two years earlier.

 Dutch-made exports to Russia amounted to 285 million euros in the second quarter of 2023, 63 percent lower than two years earlier, before the full-scale invasion. At the same time, exports of Dutch products to Türkiye and the Eurasian Economic Union Countries (EEU+) – Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan – grew by 42 and 75 percent respectively.


As for now, it is impossible to determine the exact number of casualties, as Ukrainian law enforcement agencies and the representatives of the ICC have no access to the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova called on the United Nations to support the creation of a tribunal to investigate the crime of waging a war of aggression by Russia against Ukraine. She stressed that if international crimes are not punished and the guilty are not held accountable, the crimes will only get worse.

Dzhapar is also convinced that even when Putin loses his war, business with Russia “should be impossible” until the perpetrators are held accountable for their crimes in Ukraine.

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