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Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Join Boycott, Cease Operations in Russia

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have joined the boycott and are ceasing operations in Russia.

Brands including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Netflix, and Apple have all stopped offering their products in Russia, something that many argue hurts average Russians more than President Vladimir Putin.

“Our hearts are with the people who are enduring unconscionable effects from these tragic events in Ukraine,” Coca-Cola said in a brief statement released on Tuesday. “We will continue to monitor and assess the situation as circumstances evolve.”

In their much longer statement, Pepsi said, “as many of you know, we have been operating in Russia for more than 60 years, and we have a place in many Russian homes. Pepsi-Cola entered the market at the height of the Cold War and helped create common ground between the United States and the Soviet Union. However, given the horrific events occurring in Ukraine, we are announcing the suspension of the sale of Pepsi-Cola, and our global beverage brands in Russia, including 7Up and Mirinda. We will also be suspending capital investments and all advertising and promotional activities in Russia.”

However, the company said that they will continue to offer essentials such as milk, baby formula, and baby food for humanitarian reasons. They added that this will also allow them to continue to pay their workers.

“As a food and beverage company, now more than ever we must stay true to the humanitarian aspect of our business. That means we have a responsibility to continue to offer our other products in Russia, including daily essentials such as milk and other dairy offerings, baby formula, and baby food. By continuing to operate, we will also continue to support the livelihoods of our 20,000 Russian associates and the 40,000 Russian agricultural workers in our supply chain as they face significant challenges and uncertainty ahead,” Pepsi’s statement continued.

In addition, Pepsi said that they will be helping provide aid to Ukrainian refugees in neighboring nations, noting that they have already provided food, milk, and refrigerators to relief organizations.

“We are also donating a total of $4 million to the Red Cross in Poland, World Vision in Romania, the World Food Program, World Central Kitchen, and Save the Children. And we continue to match up to $1 million raised from PepsiCo employees through our Gift Matching Campaign,” the statement continued.

Coca-Cola, which also has several bottling plants in the nation, has not provided any details about what will happen to its workers.

McDonald’s, which has closed its 850 restaurants in the nation, has said that they will be continuing to pay their 62,000 employees. Starbucks has also vowed to continue paying its 2,000 Russian employees.

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