Russia attacks Ukraine: McDonald’s says it will sell Russian business

CHICAGO — McDonald’s has announced that it plans to sell its Russian business amid the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

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According to The Associated Press, the company, which has 62,000 employees and 850 restaurants in Russia, said in a news release Monday that it has begun the process to exit the Russian market.

“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 fast-food chain said in the release.

The news came more than two months after McDonald’s announced March 8 that it was temporarily closing its Russian restaurants following the invasion, which began Feb. 24, but would keep paying its employees, the AP reported.

The Chicago-based chain said Monday that it hopes to find a local buyer to purchase “its entire portfolio” of Russian restaurants, according to the release.

“The company intends to initiate the process of ‘de-Arching’ those restaurants, which entails no longer using the McDonald’s name, logo, branding and menu, though the company will continue to retain its trademarks in Russia,” the release said. “McDonald’s priorities include seeking to ensure the employees of McDonald’s Russia continue to be paid until the close of any transaction and that employees have future employment with any potential buyer.”

In a statement, McDonald’s President and CEO Chris Kempczinski called the decision “extremely difficult,” adding that the company is “proud” of its Russian employees and associates.

“However, we have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values,” the statement read. “And our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the Arches shining there.”

McDonald’s first Russian restaurant opened in Moscow more than 30 years ago, according to the AP.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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