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McDonald’s leaves Russia for good

McDonald ‘s has just announced its intention to leave Russia for good . More than 30 years after the opening of the first restaurant of the chain, the brand puts its 850 points of sale up for sale.

Since last March, McDonald’srestaurants in Russia had closed their doors following the military invasion of Russia in Ukraine.

The fast food giant said it made the decision because of the “humanitarian crisis” and “unpredictable operating environment” caused by the war.

The first McDonald ‘s restaurant in Russia opened in Moscow in 1990 paving the way for other Western brands to enter the USSR. A year later, the Soviet Union collapsed and Russia opened its economy to Western companies.

More than three decades later, many Western banners have left Russia in the wake of economic sanctions put in place by the West against Vladimir Putin’s regime.

“This is a complex, unprecedented issue with far-reaching consequences,” McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a message to staff and suppliers.

“It is impossible to ignore the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. And it’s impossible to imagine that the Golden Arches represent the same hope and promise that drove us into the Russian market 32 years ago.”

Last year, Russia and Ukraine accounted for about 9 percent of McDonald‘s global sales. The chain’s 108 restaurants in Ukraine remain closed due to the conflict, but the company continues to pay full salaries to all employees there.

Hundreds of international brands, including Starbucks, Coca Cola, Levi’s and Apple, have left or suspended sales in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine in February. Russia has threatened to nationalize Western companies that leave the country.

The first company to have its operations taken over by the Russian state was French carmaker Renault. Moscow declared Renault’s Russian assets to be state property.

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