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Starbucks to close all 130 stores in Russia

Starbucks said it will continue to pay its nearly 2,000 Russian employees for six months and help them transition to new jobs.
Credit: AP
A sign at a Starbucks location in Havertown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)

MOSCOW, Russia — Starbucks is pulling out of the Russian market.

In a memo to employees Monday, Starbucks said it decided to close its 130 stores and no longer have a brand presence in Russia. Starbucks said it will continue to pay its nearly 2,000 Russian employees for six months and help them transition to new jobs.

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The stores are owned and operated by Alshaya Group, a Kuwait-based franchise operator.

Seattle-based Starbucks had suspended all business activity in Russia on March 8 due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The coffee giant is the latest American corporation to formally pull business operations from Russia. 

On May 26, McDonald's announced it had started the process of selling its Russian business, which includes 850 restaurants that employ 62,000 people. 

RELATED: McDonald's begins selling 850 Russian restaurants

As it tries to sell its restaurants, McDonald’s said it plans to start removing golden arches and other symbols and signs with the company’s name. It said it will keep its trademarks in Russia.

"We have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values,” said CEO Chris Kempczinski in a statement. "Our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the arches shining there.”

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The first McDonald's in Russia opened in the middle of Moscow more than three decades ago, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was a powerful symbol of the easing of Cold War tensions between the United States and Soviet Union.

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