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Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Announces Suspension of Business in Russia

ATLANTA (CW69 News at 10) -- The Coca-Cola Company, based in Atlanta, said in a release Tuesday afternoon, that it was suspending business in Russia.

The soft drink giant had come under major fire in recent days as a result of its continued business in Russia, which is embroiled in the ongoing war it is waging with Ukraine.

"Our hearts are with the people who are enduring unconscionable effects from these tragic events in Ukraine," the short statement from Coca-Cola said, in part. "We will continue to monitor and assess the situation as circumstances evolve."

According to the United Nations, more than 2 million people have left the Eastern European nation of Ukraine since Russian forces began invading Ukraine less than two weeks ago. An untold number of others have been reported injured or killed since hostilities began.

Earlier in the day on Tuesday, fast-food giant McDonald's, along with beverage companies Starbucks and Pepsico, indicated they would also be withdrawing business from Russia.

"McDonald's has decided to temporarily close all our restaurants in Russia and pause all operations in the market," according to a statement from McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski.

Likewise, Starbucks is suspending business in Russia.

"Today, we have decided to suspend all business activity in Russia, including shipment of all Starbucks products," said CEO Kevin Johnson in a statement. "Our licensed partner has agreed to immediately pause store operations and will provide support to the nearly 2,000 partners in Russia who depend on Starbucks for their livelihood."

Additionally, Coke's soft drink competitor Pepsico also announced a suspension of business in Russia.

"Given the horrific events occurring in Ukraine we are announcing the suspension of the sale of Pepsi-Cola, and our global beverage brands in Russia, including 7Up and Mirinda," said Pepsico CEO Ramon Laguarta in a Tuesday afternoon statement.

However, Laguarta said Pepsico will continue to provide essential offerings like baby formula and other essentials in Russia.

"As a food and beverage company, now more than ever we must stay true to the humanitarian aspect of our business," he said. "That means we have a responsibility to continue to offer our other products in Russia, including daily essentials such as milk and other dairy offerings, baby formula, and baby food."

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