The fast-food multinational McDonald’s announced that it began the process of selling its Russian business, which employs 62,000 people, after the invasion of Ukraine by that country, because “it is no longer sustainable or consistent with our values”, the company said.
McDonald’s iconic Pushkin Square location in central Moscow became, more than 30 years ago, a symbol of burgeoning American capitalism in the dying embers of the Soviet Union.
And is not for less. The fast-food giant was the first major American chain to open its doors in the Soviet Union, following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, becoming a powerful symbol of the easing of Cold War tensions between the United States and the bloc. which would collapse in 1991.
In Russia in the early 1990s, the hamburger chain became a way to taste Western food and spirit for millions of people, even though the cost of its product was beyond the budget of many city dwellers. .
Little more than three decades later, the global chain decided to put an end to that story and announced this Monday, May 16, that it began the process of selling its businesses in Russia, in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine, which is about to be three months old. .
McDonald’s said it has started a process to sell all its restaurants in Russia, exiting the country after more than 30 years following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine https://t.co/XsHQzNnltJ
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 16, 2022
This company currently has 850 restaurants in Russia. These premises employ 62,000 people, whom the company has continued to employ despite having suspended its operations since the beginning of the war.
“Some might argue that providing access to food and continuing to employ tens of thousands of ordinary citizens is certainly the right thing to do,” Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski said in a letter to employees. “But it is impossible to ignore the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.”
The Chicago-based giant, which explained that keeping its business in Russia “is no longer sustainable or consistent” with its values, is just one of a long list of companies that have suspended or abandoned their business in Russia.
French carmaker Renault also said on Monday it would sell its majority stake in Russian automaker Avtovaz and a factory in Moscow to the state, marking the first major nationalization of a foreign company since the war began.
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