Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle announced that it would be pulling out its popular brands from Russia to join the global protest against the country's unprovoked attack of Ukraine. The decision to halt all sales of its brands comes after the company received harsh criticism from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over its continued ties with Russia.

Nestle said in a statement that it would be suspending the sale of its renowned brands such as Nesquik and KitKat, among other brands, in Russia. The company added that it had already halted all non-essential imports and exports in and out of Russia. Like other companies that have joined the global protest against the war, Nestle said it would be halting all capital investments in the country.

Earlier in the week, Zelensky had openly criticized Nestle for continuing to do business in Russia. The Ukrainian president also addressed the people of Switzerland to help convince Nestle to pull out of Russia. In his speech, Zelensky cited the company's slogan "Good Food. Good Life," explaining that it was now contradictory given Nestle's refusal to leave Russia.

Nestle, the world's largest food and beverage business and the creator of renowned brands such as Gerber baby food, Cheerios, and Dreyer's ice cream, defended itself while citing the sweeping developments since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The company said it would continue to ship essential food products and medical nutrition products, including baby food, cereal, and therapeutic pet foods, to Russia.

The company initially announced on March 11 that it would be suspending shipments of some products to Russia. Nestle halted the import of products such as Nespresso to the country but still continued to ship other products such as KitKat. Nestle currently has more than 7,000 employees in Russia throughout its various factories within the country. The company said it is still committed to its Russian employees, adding that it will continue to pay them. Nestle claimed that it is actively looking for a solution to help its workers in the country.

After speaking with Nestle's CEO, Mark Schneider, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal blasted the company for still not fully pulling out of Russia despite international pleas. Shmyhal said Nestle still doesn't understand the gravity of the situation, adding that its refusal to pull out of the country means that it is actively paying taxes to fund Russia's bloody campaign in Ukraine. Shmyhal said in a post on Twitter that Nestle was indirectly funding the "killing of defenseless children and mothers," adding that he hopes Nestle will reconsider its stance in the matter.