McDonalds pulls out of Crimea

7 Apr 2014

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McDonalds has closed its three restaurants in Crimea, located at Simferopol, Yalta and Sevastopol.

The company said in a statement published on its site, ‘like many other multi-national companies, McDonald’s is currently evaluating potential business and regulatory implications which may result from the evolving situation in Crimea. We believe it is prudent and responsible to sort through these details thoroughly. Additionally, due to the suspension of necessary financial and banking services, we have no option but to close our three restaurants in Crimea. It is important to note that this is strictly a business decision which has nothing to do with politics. We are taking numerous steps to support our employees during this time. We hope to reopen our restaurants soon so we can welcome back our loyal customers.’

This will be a major blow to local suppliers of both food, packaging and other products.

McDonalds said that it would attempt to find employment for its staff elsewhere in Ukraine.

Meanwhile in Moscow, the deputy speaker of the Russian parliament and head of the ultra nationalist LDP party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, said that McDonald’s should leave Russia, too. ‘ So McDonalds have closed their outlets in Crimea. OK then. We will close the rest.’

He has given instructions to his party members to picket McDonalds throughout Russia pointing out that ‘It is just rubbish anyway, why poison our people?’

McDonalds has been present in Russia for 23 years and has over 400 restaurants across the country.

While Mr Zhirinovsky is widely viewed as the court jester of Russian politics, his trademark outbursts are occasionally used as trial balloons for schemes that do eventually become policy.

If this is one of those cases, other iconic American food brands may also have to watch out.

Zhirinovsky suggested that after closing every McDonald’s restaurant in the country, he would move on down a hit list of brands.

The deputy speaker of the Russian parliament, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, said this week that McDonald’s should leave Russia, too.

Zhirinovsky said that once McDonalds had been finished off in Russia, he would turn his attention to Pepsi.

Given the current climate of nationalism in Russia, that is not an idle threat.

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