Calls to boycott McDonald's, other brands in wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine

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Major global brands, including McDonald's Corp (MCD.N), PepsiCo Inc (PEP.O) and the Estee Lauder Cos Inc. should consider pausing their operations in Russia, New York state's pension fund chief wrote in letters to several companies on Friday.

McDonald’s restaurant (iStock / iStock)

Other companies that received the letter were Mondelez International Inc, Fortinet Inc, Kimberly-Clark Corp, Bunge Ltd, Coty Inc, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Trimble Inc.

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None of the companies immediately replied to a request for comment.

Pepsi cans on display. (Denise Truscello/Getty Images for LARAS / Getty Images)

Political pressure is building for companies to halt business in Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine, and sanctions are making some operations difficult. Some big companies have already said they will stop, including sneaker maker Nike and home furnishings firm IKEA. read more

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Nike products appear on display at the SIX:02 shop inside Foot Locker’s redesigned Manhattan flagship store in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer / AP Newsroom)

The letters from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli urged companies to review their businesses in Russia because they face "significant and growing legal, compliance, operational, human rights and personnel, and reputational risks," wrote DiNapoli, who oversees the state's roughly $280 billion pension fund, which owns shares of the companies.

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Pausing or ending 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," the letter said.

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