WELLINGTON, AAP – Joint-listed New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has become the latest company to end its Russian operations following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

On Monday morning, chief executive Miles Hurrell announced the closure of Fonterra’s Moscow office and its departure from Unifood, a joint venture with Russian company Foodline which it entered in 2018.

Fonterra, NZ’s biggest company, suspended shipments to Russia at the end of February, allowing it to assess the impact of sanctions.

Fonterra has been exporting dairy products, primarily butter, to Russia for four decades.

The market comprises around one per cent of its annual exports.

“Given the current strong demand for New Zealand dairy, we are confident in our ability to re-allocate this product to other markets,” Mr Hurrell said.

The co-op will attempt to re-deploy its seven Moscow-based staff.

The decision to walk away from Russia follows calls from many, including Federated Farmers president Andrew Hoggard, to do so.