// McDonald’s is to permanently close its Russian business and sell of stores in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine
// McDonald’s is one of many western brands that had temporarily closed stores in Russia following the invasion earlier this year
McDonald’s is to permanently leave Russia after 30 years of trading in the country, in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.
The fast food restaurant, which traded from 850 outlets in Russia, has started to sell off its restaurants in the country.
McDonald’s said: “The humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, and the precipitating unpredictable operating environment, have led McDonald’s to conclude that continued ownership of the business in Russia is no longer tenable.”
The arrival of McDonald’s in Moscow in 1990 was a symbolic moment for the country that illustrated the winding down of the Cold War and welcoming of Russia back into the global community.
McDonald’s is one of many western brands, including retail giants such as Zara, H&M, M&S, Ikea and Burberry, that have temporary closed their stores in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
McDonald’s move to make the closures permanent will have caught the attention of many retailers debating what to do with their Russian businesses.
In a letter to employees, McDonald’s chief executive Chris Kempczinski said: “It is impossible to ignore the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. And it is impossible to imagine the golden arches representing the same hope and promise that led us to enter the Russian market 32 years ago.”
Kempczinski said making sure that its 62,000 local employees continued to be paid until a sale had been agreed and they could secure jobs with a new owner was a priority for the business.