NEW YORK: As a growing list of US multinational businesses – from Apple to Levi’s – suspend activities in Russia, some companies choose to stay in the country despite the risks to their reputation.
But they face mounting pressure: calls for repercussions are appearing on social media under hashtags such as #BoycottMcDonalds and #BoycottPepsi – two companies that received letters from New York state’s pension fund chief.
These companies “need to consider whether doing business in Russia is worth the risk during this extraordinarily volatile time,” Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement.
DiNapoli has also sent letters to snack manufacturer Mondelez; cosmetics groups Estee Lauder and Coty; and brokerage firm Bunge.
A team from Yale University that keeps a list of companies with a significant presence in Russia said about 250 have announced withdrawal from the country since it invaded Ukraine.
The group said the withdrawals call to mind “the large-scale corporate boycott of Apartheid South Africa in the 1980s.”
Many US companies still in Russia remain silent. Brands including McDonald’s, Bunge, Mondelez, Estee Lauder, Kimberly-Clark and Coty did not respond to an AFP request for comment.
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