Coca-Cola and PepsiCo suspend operations in Russia
The Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo on Tuesday said they will suspend their business in Russia, joining other leading U.S. brands in boycotting the country amid its invasion of Ukraine.
“Our hearts are with the people who are enduring unconscionable effects from these tragic events in Ukraine,” Coca-Cola said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “We will continue to monitor and assess the situation as circumstances evolve.”
Coca-Cola, which operates several bottling plants in Russia, did not provide further details about the move.
PepsiCo said that it will suspend its soft drink sales and capital investments in Russia. The company said that it will support its 20,000 Russian workers and continue to sell other products such as milk and baby food for humanitarian reasons.
The soft drink giants made their announcements shortly after McDonald’s and Starbucks said that they would suspend their operations in Russia.
American firms are under immense public pressure to cut ties with Russia, and severe Western sanctions also complicate their ability to do business in the country. Multinational corporations, including retailers, tech companies, banks and accounting firms, are fleeing Russia as much of the international community condemns Russian President Vladimir Putin’s violent attacks on Ukraine.
“We continue to watch the tragic events unfold and, today, we have decided to suspend all business activity in Russia, including shipment of all Starbucks products,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson wrote in a letter to stores Tuesday, adding that the company will provide support for its 2,000 Russian employees.
McDonald’s said Tuesday that it will temporarily close its 850 restaurants in Russia in light of the humanitarian crisis, noting that it will continue to pay its 62,000 Russian employees.