McDonald’s on Monday has said that it has started the process of selling its business in Russia. It was the first American fast-food restaurant to open in the Soviet Union over three decades ago. It is another symbol of the nation’s increasing isolation over its war in Ukraine.
The company, which has over 850 restaurants in Russia that employ more than 62,000 people, pointed to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war, stating holding on to its business in Russia “is no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald’s values.”
In March, the Chicago-based fast-food giant said that it was temporarily halting its stores in Russia but would continue to pay its employees. Without mentioning a prospective Russian buyer, McDonald’s stated on Monday that it would seek one to hire its workers & pay them until the sale closes.
CEO Chris Kempczinski added the “dedication and loyalty to McDonald’s” of employees and hundreds of Russian suppliers made it a difficult decision to leave.
Kempczinski said in a statement, that, “However, we have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values. Our commitment to our values mean that we can no longer keep the arches shining there.”
As it is trying to sell its restaurants, McDonald’s stated it plans to start removing golden arches & other symbols as well as signs with the company’s name. It stated it will keep its trademarks in Russia.
Western companies have wrestled with extricating themselves from Russia, enduring the hit to their bottom lines from pausing or closing operations in the face of sanctions. Others have stayed in Russia at least partially, with some facing blowback.
French carmaker Renault said Monday that it would sell its majority stake in the Russian car company Avtovaz and a factory in Moscow to the state- the first major nationalisation of a foreign business since the war began.