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McDonald's is leaving Russia, after more than 30 years

Categories: UK NEWS

McDonald's is exiting Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, pulling out of a market it's been a part of for 32 years. The fast-food giant had previously paused its operations in Russia less than two weeks into the brutal conflict being waged over Ukraine's future.McDonald's wants to sell its entire slate of restaurants in the country to a Russian buyer. To prepare for that sale, it will start "de-arching" its restaurants — stripping them of its trademark signs, menus and branding.

McDonald's emphasized the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and its corporate values while announcing its move on Monday, but it also described it as a business decision, citing the "unpredictable operating environment" in Russia, which has become an economic pariah due to international sanctions."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, nor is it consistent with McDonald's values," the company said.

The decision will directly affect some 62,000 employees, along with hundreds of suppliers and distributers. While it's looking for a buyer, McDonald's says, it will aim to ensure that all of the employees will continue to be paid. The corporation has been paying their salaries since March 8, when it paused the operations of its restaurants in Russia.The hamburger chain's departure will end an era that began in January of 1990, when, after much anticipation and fanfare, McDonald's opened its first store in Moscow's Pushkin Square.

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