“McDonald’s has decided to temporarily close all our restaurants in Russia and pause all operations in the market,” CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a statement obtained by CNN.
The global fast food chain was reported to have 847 locations in Russia at the end of 2021, according to an investor document obtained by CNN.
The majority of McDonald’s global locations are run by franchise operators, however, 84% in Russia are operated by the company itself.
Russia, along with the 108 restaurants in Ukraine, accounted for 9% of McDonald’s global revenue in 2021, the document confirmed.
“In Russia, we employ 62,000 people who have poured their heart and soul into our McDonald’s brand to serve their communities. We work with hundreds of local, Russian suppliers and partners who produce the food for our menu and support our brand,” Kempczinski said. “And we serve millions of Russian customers each day who count on McDonald’s. In the thirty-plus years that McDonald’s has operated in Russia, we’ve become an essential part of the 850 communities in which we operate.”
Kempczinski then added that the company would stand by its values, which meant, “we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine.”
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced a ban on all imports of Russian oil due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
The decision is the latest attempt by the U.S. to increase pressure on the Russian economy amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine and will likely have an affect on the already rising gas prices nationwide.
“Today I am announcing the United States is targeting the main artery of Russia’s economy. We’re banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy,” President Biden said at White House on Tuesday via CNN. “That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at US ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine.”
A total of 2 million people have reportedly evacuated Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of the neighboring country as both sides agreed to a cease-fire to allow more civilians to escape, NBC News reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his country would conduct military operations in Eastern Ukraine during an NBC News translation of a speech addressing the Russian population prior to sunrise on February 24 in Moscow.
The announcement served as the final action ahead of an attack by Putin and the Russian military, which the U.S. and European allies to the neighboring Ukraine have attempted to prevent from taking place through diplomatic discussions.
A Ukraine interior minister confirmed to NBC News via text message that “cruise and ballistic missile strikes” were already underway shortly after Putin’s announcement.
More than 1,000 protesters were reportedly arrested during anti-war protests throughout Russia amid President Putin’s announcement to conduct military operations and ensuing attack on Ukraine, BNO News reported.