After 32 years operating in Russia McDonald’s has announced its decision to leave the country, laying out plans to sell all its restaurants.
The world’s largest burger firm now becomes one of the biggest global names to exit Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Just last March they paused operations in the country.
“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 in a news release.
A symbol of American capitalism, McDonald’s rattled Russian consumers after announcing first operations in the former Soviet Union capital city. The iconic Pushkin Square location in central Moscow became a landmark in the city.
According to Reuters the chain owns about 84% of its nearly 850 restaurants in Russia and will take a related non-cash charge of up to $1.4 billion.
McDonald’s first opened in Russia 32 years ago and has 62,000 employees. While franchisees operate only 15% of its Russian locations, the company owns the rest.
The burger giant is the latest global corporation to exit Russia, after ongoing sanctions from top western companies keep building pressure on President Vladimir Putin.