McDonald's to Leave Russia for Good After 30 Years

McDonald’s said the “dedication and loyalty” of the company’s employees in Russia made the announcement “extremely difficult”

McDonalds in Russia
Photo: Pelagiya Tihonova/Anadolu Agency/Getty

McDonald's is permanently shutting its doors in Russia.

On Monday, the fast-food giant announced it will sell its business in Russia after more than 30 years of operating in the country. It temporarily closed all its Russian restaurants in March amid Russia's invasion into Ukraine.

The company said it was "no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald's values" to continue owning in the country due to the "humanitarian crisis" caused by the ongoing war, according to the press release.

McDonalds Russia
Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty

"We're exceptionally proud of the 62,000 employees who work in our restaurants, along with the hundreds of Russian suppliers who support our business, and our local franchisees," Chris Kempczinski, McDonald's President and Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement. "Their dedication and loyalty to McDonald's make today's announcement extremely difficult."

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

McDonald's is looking to sell their Russian restaurants to a local buyer and plans to continue to pay all employees in the country until the close of sale, according to the release.


Following the sale, the company will begin the process of "de-Arching" the restaurants — including no longer using the McDonald's name, logo, branding or menu, the release stated.

The company added that it will write off up to $1.2-1.4 billion from the exit and "recognize foreign currency translation losses."

McDonald's restaurants in Ukraine also remain closed but the company continues to pay their employees full salaries and support local relief efforts organized by Ronald McDonald House Charities, per the release.

In March, Mcdonald's announced it would "temporarily close all our restaurants in Russia and pause all operations in the market" in a letter to company employees.

At the time, Kempczinski noted that McDonald's has "become an essential part of the 850 communities in which we operate" in Russia, but added, "our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine."

"As we move forward, McDonald's will continue to assess the situation and determine if any additional measures are required. At this juncture, it's impossible to predict when we might be able to reopen our restaurants in Russia," he stated at the time. "We are experiencing disruptions to our supply chain along with other operational impacts. We will also closely monitor the humanitarian situation."

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Russia's attack on Ukraine continues after their forces launched a large-scale invasion on Feb. 24 — the first major land conflict in Europe in decades.

Details of the fighting change by the day, but hundreds of civilians have already been reported dead or wounded, including children. Millions of Ukrainians have also fled, the United Nations says.

The invasion, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has drawn condemnation around the world and increasingly severe economic sanctions against Russia.

With NATO forces massing in the region around Ukraine, various countries have also pledged aid or military support to the resistance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for peace talks — so far unsuccessful — while urging his country to fight back.

Putin insists Ukraine has historic ties to Russia and he is acting in the best security interests of his country. Zelenskyy vowed not to bend.

"Nobody is going to break us, we're strong, we're Ukrainians," he told the European Union in a speech in the early days of the fighting. "Life will win over death. And light will win over darkness."

The Russian attack on Ukraine is an evolving story, with information changing quickly. Follow PEOPLE's complete coverage of the war here, including stories from citizens on the ground and ways to help.

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