McDonald's confirms it will exit Russia

STORY: It was a moment full of symbolism.

McDonald's opening its first store in Russia back in 1990 was supposed to mark the country itself opening up to the world.

The fast food giant's unveiling in Moscow was attended by thousands of people, and it had stayed in the country ever since....until now, that is.

McDonald’s confirmed Monday (May 16) that after more than 30 years selling its iconic Big Macs and fries, it had begun the process to sell all its restaurants in the region.

McDonald’s said back in March it would close its 847 restaurants in Russia and take a hit of $50 million a month to do so.

The company now expects a non-cash charge of up to $1.4 billion following the sale.

McDonald’s said it was looking to sell the restaurants to a local buyer, though it will retain the trademark.

Western businesses have left Russia en masse since it invaded Ukraine in February - which it calls a ‘special military operation’.

The company said it would make sure its 62,000 employees in Russia were paid until the close of any transaction.

McDonald’s also said they would have future jobs with any potential buyer.

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