Make only one resolution in 2024: Leave Russia to stop the war!
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Dear Mondelez, Unilever, PepsiCo, Mars, Nestle, and Procter & Gamble,

Congratulations on another successful year in Russia! As the most profitable fast-moving consumer goods companies (FMCGs) still doing business in the aggressor state, you have made the largest tax contribution to the Kremlin after the tobacco industry players. All of you have also managed to make it to the list of international sponsors of war and even assist the Kremlin with mobilizing your own employees to serve in the Russian army.

It is the same army that has committed over 100 thousand war crimes in Ukraine, raping children, men and women, killing en masse, looting and forcebly deporting Ukrainian children to Russia in order to erase their roots and identity.

And the list of your 2023 highlights in Russia just goes on. Well done!

As the holiday season is upon us, it is a ripe time to reflect on this past year. Think of the unravelling of the international legal order, the return to territorial conquest and nuclear threats to destroy the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and other western nations — is this the world we want to live in in 2024?

The simple, but scary truth is that peace and stability, which Western businesses have built their success on, are currently being undermined by the biggest nuclear state threatening the West with “a large-scale conventional war.” And it just happens that you enable this state by choosing “business as usual” instead of a responsible exit.

Your tax contributions, technology and know-how prolong Russia’s unjust war and legitimize it in the eyes of the Russian citizens, most of whom assume no responsibility for the actions of their elected government.

In the words of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin, “If we do not stand up to the Kremlin’s aggression today if we do not deter other would-be aggressors, we will only invite more aggression, more bloodshed and more chaos.”

As a coalition of civil society organisations that came together to defund Russia’s illegal war of aggression, we do not see you as passive bystanders or victims of the Kremlin’s “waronomics.” You have the power to defund the aggressor state and make this war end sooner.

But instead, you chose the path of least resistance. Instead, you chose to stretch the definition, claiming to be providing “essential goods” to the Russian people as a reason to stay. You have also referred to the well-being of your Russia-based employees as a reason to remain and enable Russia’s continued aggression.

What about the well-being of 27,000 Ukrainian civilians either killed or injured as a result of Russia’s attacks from land and sky?

We call on you to realize the risks inherent in cooperating with a terrorist state ruled by a wanted war criminal. Please do not forget that you actually carry responsibilities under business and human rights conventions that you are currently not fulfilling. And your continued tax contributions feed into an increasingly militarized state budget.

This coming Christmas Eve marks one year and ten months since Russia invaded Ukraine. You had plenty of time to reap the benefits of your stay in the pariah state. You had plenty of time to think and pursue right and strategic decisions that make sound business sense.

In 2024, we ask you to make the only new year’s resolution: To leave Russia and ensure that “not a single penny” goes to its militarized budget. Leave Russia and help save human lives.



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