International soft drink giant PepsiCo and chocolate company Mars have been added to Ukraine’s list of international sponsors of war, the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NACP) announced in a press release on Sept. 1.
Both companies continue to work in the Russian Federation and continue to pay taxes to the Russian state budget, said the NACP.
Unlike its rival Coca-Cola, who didn’t operate in Russia until the ‘glasnost’ era of 1985, PepsiCo famously opened operations in Soviet Russia in 1974 and now has 19 plants, about 20,000 employees, and 40,000 agricultural workers in the country. It is Russia’s fourth-largest food and beverage company.
PepsiCo has pumped about $2.59 billion a year into the aggressor state’s economy since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. It’s net profit increased by 333% to $525 million compared to 2021, and the company paid $115 million in taxes.
In March 2022, the company announced the cessation of advertising and beverage production in Russia. However, the production of 7Up and Mirinda under the Evervess and Frustyle brands resumed in August 2022.
PepsiCo also launched a new brand of lemonade in the country called Russian Gift. The company continues the production and distribution of other products, including chips, snacks, and dairy products.
Pepsi never intended to leave Russia, as evidenced by the fact that there are 580 vacancies on the company’s website, the NACP said.
Mars has worked in Russia for over 30 years and has invested $2.5 billion in the country, created over 6,000 jobs, and operated 10 factories.
The company promised to reduce its business in the country after the full-scale Russian invasion and to transfer its profits from its operations in Russia to charity.
However, Mars’s factories continued to operate in the Russian Federation. Revenue increased to $2.45 billion, and net profit increased by 59%, to $377 million.
Mars paid more than $93 million in taxes to the Russian budget and currently has 100 open vacancies on its website.
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