More than three decades later, McDonald’s is moving out of Russia, looking for a “local buyer” for its business, which includes 850 restaurants in the country.
McDonald’s has closed 850 restaurants in Russia alone. It has completely frozen 30 years of investment.
Anyone who buys its Russian restaurant will no longer be allowed to use McDonald’s “Golden Arch” logo or brand, the company said, adding that it wants to protect its 62,000 employees in Russia.
“McDonald’s priorities include continuing to pay employees in Russia until the end of any transaction and ensuring that employees have future employment with any potential buyer,” said Chris Kempzinski, McDonald’s president and chief executive officer.
“We have a long history of deep, local roots where arches shine,” he said, adding that staff’s “dedication and loyalty to McDonald’s makes today’s announcement extremely difficult.”
Kempczinski continued: “We have a commitment to the world community and we must remain steadfast in our values. And our commitment to our values means we can no longer keep the arches shining there.”
The fast-food giant is the latest Western company to emerge from the Russian market since the start of the war. French automaker Renault Group also announced on Monday that it was pulling out of Russian business and selling its shares to Russian government agencies.
Renault has said it will sell all Russian shares to the Moscow city government – and about 68 percent of Russian automaker AvtoVAZ, which makes Lada cars, to a Russian federal agency, according to a press release.
“We have made a difficult but necessary decision; And we are making a responsible choice for our 45,000 employees in Russia, where we are preserving the group’s performance and our ability to return to the country in a different context, “Renault Group CEO Luca de Mio said in a press release.
Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade has also announced that “Renault Group’s Russian assets” will become “state property.”
Bloomberg News reports that the move to sell the 2.3 billion Russian auto business is a result of the nationalization that resulted from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
According to the Hill newspaper, the remarks by Renault’s CEO came just days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized the company’s name in a speech before the French parliament. “Renault, Auchan, Leroy Marlin and others. They must stop sponsoring Russia’s military machine, sponsoring the killing of children and women, and sponsoring rape, robbery and looting by the Russian military, “Zelensky said.
According to Bloomberg News, Renault’s relationship with Russia reached a 1 billion deal in 2007 and the country has since become the company’s second largest market. In March, de Mio warned that Renault’s retreat in Russia would create a “very complicated situation” by eating away at the company’s profits and sales, Reuters reported.
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According to Renault’s release, there are options to buy AvtoVAZ shares at fixed times over the next six years.