Starbucks leaves Russia permanently, closing its 130 licensed cafes

A Starbucks establishment in Moscow, March 10, 2022 (AFP/Archives/-)

Starbucks, which had temporarily closed the 130 establishments bearing its name in Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, announced on Monday that it had made the decision to leave the country definitively, thus following in the wake of other multinationals such as McDonald’s.

The American chain known for its lattes and frappuccinos had opened its first cafe in Russia in 2007 and operated there through a partner, a Kuwaiti group, which owned and managed the licensed establishments.

“We condemn Russia’s unprovoked, unjust and horrific attacks on Ukraine,” the group’s then-chief executive, Kevin Johnson, wrote in a message to employees in early March. He had a few days later indicated that his partner had agreed to suspend with immediate effect all its operations in the country.

Starbucks will continue to pay some 2,000 employees working on its behalf for six months, the company said in a post on its website.

She did not specify the financial impact of this decision on her accounts.

Large Western companies found themselves under great pressure after the start of the war in Ukraine and the imposition of economic sanctions, to distance themselves from Moscow for ethical reasons or difficulties in operating activities.

After more than 30 years of presence in Russia and nearly 850 restaurants, McDonald’s announced in mid-May its final departure from the country and sold its activities, but not the brand name, to a Russian businessman.

The French manufacturer Renault, leader in the country with the Lada brand which it had recovered, also sold its assets to the Russian State while the oil giant ExxonMobil planned to withdraw from its last major project in the country, Sakhalin. -1.

© 2022 AFP

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