Major Brands Like McDonald’s Suspended Their Business In Russia

McDonald's

International conflicts always lead to huge losses, not only for the army personnel but things like the country’s economy takes a hit as well. The same thing happened when Russia decided to invade Ukraine.

Within a matter of a few hours, the stock market crashed, along with several things going wrong. The world then started to think about what it could do to stop the aggressor, Russia, from escalating the whole conflict with Ukraine.

In a duration of a few days, several countries like the United States of America, the United Kingdom, etc., imposed various sanctions on Russia. The major decision to stop trade with Russia came as a consequence of the whole conflict.

All of this was done to pressure Russia to pull out of Ukraine and step back, but things didn’t go as expected. This led to even stricter restrictions and impositions.

As a result of this whole matter, several big brands like McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Coke, General Electric, etc., pulled themselves out of Russia. This decision was announced on Tuesday and is the companies’ way of standing up against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Major Brands Suspending Their Businesses In Russia

McDonald's sign

In an open letter addressed to his employees, the president/CEO of McDonald’s, Chris Kempczinski, said, “Our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine.”

He further added, “The situation is extraordinarily challenging for a global brand like ours, and there are many considerations.”

McDonald’s further decided that it will close its 850 location outlets in Russia for the time being but continue to pay its employees. When asked about the reopening of these stores, Kempczinski said that it’s uncertain and impossible to tell at this moment.

Thomas DiNapoli, a McDonald’s investor, said in a statement, “As one of the largest domestic corporations doing business in Russia, McDonald’s suspension of operations there should send a strong message to other companies.” 

DiNapoli further added, “Russia’s attack on Ukraine, its violent imperialism, threatens the global economy and makes doing business there extraordinarily risky if not untenable.”

McDonald’s then announced on Tuesday that it has now donated over $5 million to relief funds and its employee assistance fund.

It has also appointed a Ronald McDonald House Charities mobile medical care unit around the Polish border with Ukraine as a relief effort. McDonald’s further added that another mobile care unit is on its way to the border in Latvia.

Meanwhile, Starbucks was observed doing something similar to what McDonald’s did. Starbucks announced that it would be donating all profits made by 130 of its stores in Russia for relief usage in Ukraine.

That was the initial decision, but on Monday morning, Starbucks decided to take a different route. They then decided to do exactly what McDonald’s did, close its stores in Russia and pay its employees.

The CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, in an open letter, said to his employees, “Through this dynamic situation, we will continue to make decisions that are true to our mission and values and communicate with transparency.”

Moving on, Coca-Cola decided to stand up against Russia as well. Coca-Cola decided to suspend all business in Russia. Following its lead, PepsiCo and GE also announced the temporary suspension of their business in Russia.

Pepsi announced that it’d stop the sale of its beverages in Russia and all investments and promotions related to it but will continue providing the country with baby milk, formula, and food. This decision came as a result of them wanting to support their Russian employees and agricultural workers. 

Ramon Laguarta, in an email, addressed to Pepsi’s employees, said, “Now more than ever, we must stay true to the humanitarian aspect of our business.” GE did decide to suspend its business in Russia for the time being but with a few exceptions.

These exceptions are supportive equipment for power supply and medical equipment in Russia.

You can say social media had a role to play in these decisions. This is because several hashtags started trending on social media to boycott these brands as they did not see any efforts against Russia.

These decisions will impact both the companies and Russia’s economy. Peace is the way to go, and Russia needs to understand this. Live and let live!

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