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Nestle, Sony pull back from Russia

March 9 (Reuters) – Nestle Philip Morris and video game maker Sony joined the list of multinationals stepping back from Russia on Wednesday as pressure mounts from consumers in the West to take a stand against the invasion of Ukraine.

Read McDonald’s, Starbucks, Pepsi plus suspend business in Russia

Nestle, the world’s biggest packaged foods group, fell into line with rivals Procter & Gamble (PG.N) and Unilever (ULVR.L) in halting investment in Russia, and Mondelez International (MDLZ.O) will scale back nonessential activities while helping to maintain “continuity” of the Russian food supply.

Cigarette maker Philip Morris said it would scale down manufacturing, Imperial Brands (IMB.L) suspended it, and Camel maker British American Tobacco Plc (BATS.L) said its business in Russia continued to operate, but that it had suspended capital investment.

Sony, whose movie studio has already stopped releases in Russia, said its PlayStation gaming unit would stop shipments and operations in Russia. “Sony Interactive Entertainment joins the international community in calling for peace in Ukraine,” it said.

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Some companies are taking similar action without calling out Russia. Many businesses face difficulty working in Russia due to sanctions and lack of shipping, in addition to pressure from consumers and investors.

Heavy equipment maker Deere & Co (DE.N), saying it was “deeply saddened by the significant escalation of events in Ukraine,” announced it had ended shipments to Russia two weeks ago, and subsequently to Belarus, and said it would follow U.S. and international sanctions.

Miner Rio Tinto (RIO.L) said it was working to maintain supplies of Russian fuel to its Mongolian copper mine. 

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“The reality is, Mongolia has two very big, powerful neighbors, so it’s quite important for us to maintain healthy, peaceful, balanced relationships,” said the head of Rio’s copper business, Bold Baatar, referring to Russia and China.

Nestle, tobacco groups latest companies to pull back from Russia  Reuters.com

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