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Oreo-maker Mondelez faces Nordic backlash over Russia business


OSLO (Reuters) – Mondelez International, facing a widening corporate boycott in the Nordic region over its continued presence in Russia, said late on Sunday it had asked to meet with the Norwegian government to protect its local business.

Airlines SAS and Norwegian Air, railway group SJ, hotel chain Strawberry, retailer Elkjop, shipping group Fjord Line and the Norwegian Football Association were among those announcing in recent days that they would stop selling Mondelez products.

The global snack maker, producer of Oreo, Toblerone and dozens of other brands, has a strong presence in Norway and Sweden via its local chocolate manufacturers Freia and Marabou.

Although some Western companies sold their Russian assets after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine last year, others such as Mondelez have stayed despite pushback from employees in other countries. Russia says the invasion is a “special operation”.

Nordic companies said their decision stop selling Mondelez products was based on an announcement this year by Ukraine’s National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption to blacklist the snack maker and other groups.

Coop Norge, Norway’s second biggest food retailer, said on Saturday that it would seek advice from the Norwegian government before making any decisions.

Mondelez in a statement said it would seek to meet with relevant government ministries to explain its position, adding that it did not sell Russian-made products in Norway.

Official policy should be based on formal sanctions introduced by Western and other nations, and any guidelines should be based on objective criteria that treat companies equally, the U.S.-based group added.

Mondelez said it maintained “limited” activity in Russia while halting investment and advertising, and had condemned the war.

“Mondelez International complies with all political decisions and sanctions and will continue to consider necessary adjustments to operations in order to ensure full compliance,” it added.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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