NY Comptroller Wants McDonald’s, Others to Pause Operations in Russia

New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli called on several major businesses to “pause” operations in Russia following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to a report from Reuters, DiNapoli, who oversees the state’s $280 billion pension fund, wrote letters to several major brands including McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Estee Lauder, and others on Friday, urging them to “review” their operations in Russia because they are facing “significant and growing legal, compliance, operational, human rights and personnel, and reputational risks.”

The state’s pension fund owns shares in the companies, according to the Reuters report.

The letter said stopping operations in Russia would “address various investment risks associated with the Russian market and play an important role in condemning Russia’s role in fundamentally undermining the international order that is vital to a strong and healthy global economy.”

None of the companies that received the letter responded to Reuters with a comment.

Several other big brands have already cut ties due to the invasion.

CNN Business reported Saturday that Apple, Disney, and Ford are pulling back on Russian operations, while Boeing and Exxon are curtailing current projects with Moscow.

Ford, which has a 50% ownership stake in a joint Russian venture called Ford Sollers, suspended its Russian operations, but did not say if it would shut down plants in the cities of St. Petersburg, Elabuga, and Naberezhnye Chelny, according to the Reuters report.

General Motors and Volkswagen, on the other hand, are halting all exports to Russia, and stopping production for that country.

Toyota said it would stop making cars in Russia or export them there “until further notice.”

“Like everyone around the world, Toyota is watching the ongoing developments in Ukraine with great concern for the safety of people of Ukraine and hopes for a safe return to peace as soon as possible,” it said in a statement to CNN Business.

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, said it is blocking access to Russian news outlets RT and Sputnik across European platforms, and Twitter said it planned to “reduce the visibility and amplification” of Russian state media, CNN Business said.

Mastercard announced Monday that it was blocking “multiple financial institutions” in line with existing U.S. sanctions on Russia, and Visa said it would comply with sanctions against Russia.

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