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McDonald's has announced it will sell its business in Russia amid the country's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
The fast food chain has operated in the country for more than 30 years, but announced that holding on to its business in Russia is 'no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald’s values' in the wake of the humanitarian crisis.
McDonald's is searching for a buyer that will keep its 62,000 workers in Russia employed, and has ensured it will continue to pay the workers until the sale closes.
Chief Executive Chris Kempczinski cited the 'dedication and loyalty to McDonald’s' of employees and Russian suppliers while discussing the move, admitting their work had made it difficult to leave the country.
In a statement, Kempczinski continued: “However, we have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values and our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the arches shining there.”
McDonald's plans to keep its trademarks in Russia, but as it moves towards a sale the company has announced plans to start removing its recognisable golden arches and other symbols and signs with the company’s name from Russia.
It comes after McDonald's announced the temporary closure of its stores in Russia following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, with a statement at the time explaining the company would 'continue to assess the situation and determine if any additional measures are required'.
In the release in early March, McDonald's wrote: "The conflict in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis in Europe has caused unspeakable suffering to innocent people. As a System, we join the world in condemning aggression and violence and praying for peace..."
"At this juncture, it’s impossible to predict when we might be able to reopen our restaurants in Russia. We are experiencing disruptions to our supply chain along with other operational impacts. We will also closely monitor the humanitarian situation."
The company opened its first store in the middle of Moscow more than three decades ago, becoming the first American fast food restaurant to open in the Soviet Union.
It is not the first company to respond as a result of the war, with Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Starbucks all having paused or closed operations in the country.
As a result of its closure, McDonald’s said it expects to record a charge against earnings of between $1.2 billion (£980 million) and $1.4 billion (£1.1 billion).
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information
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