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McDonald’s to temporarily close 850 stores in Russia, will continue paying employees

A sign is displayed outside a McDonald's restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa, April 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
A sign is displayed outside a McDonald's restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa, April 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

McDonald’s says it is temporarily closing all of its 850 restaurants in Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The burger giant says it will continue paying its 62,000 employees in Russia “who have poured their heart and soul into our McDonald’s brand.” But in an open letter to employees, McDonald’s President and CEO Kempczinski says closing those stores for now is the right thing to do.

“Our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine,” Kempczinski says.

Kempczinski says it’s impossible to know when the company will be able to reopen its stores.

McDonald’s has also temporarily closed 100 restaurants in Ukraine and continues to pay those employees.

McDonald’s could take a big financial hit because of the closures. In a recent regulatory filing, the Chicago-based company said its restaurants in Russia and Ukraine contributed 9% of its annual revenue, or around $2 billion.

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