Starbucks Ending Business In Russia After 15 Years Over Putin’s Invasion Of Ukraine

Decision will shut down company's 130 stores that have been closed since March.
A branch of Starbucks in the Russian city of St Petersburg.
Kalyeena Makortoff/PA Images via Getty Images

Starbucks announced on Monday that it is ending its business operations in Russia due to the nation’s invasion of Ukraine.

The company’s 130 locations have been closed since March, but will now be permanently shut down after the decision.

“Starbucks has made the decision to exit and no longer have a brand presence in the market,” a company news release said.

“We will continue to support the nearly 2,000 green apron partners in Russia, including pay for six months and assistance for partners to transition to new opportunities outside of Starbucks,” the release added.

On March 8, Starbucks first announced its plans to shut down locations and suspend business in Russia.

“We continue to watch the tragic events unfold and, today, we have decided to suspend all business activity in Russia, including shipment of all Starbucks products,” the company noted at the time.

The company also previously announced its support of the Ukrainian people through its Starbucks Foundation. The foundation has contributed $500,000 to World Central Kitchen and the Red Cross for humanitarian relief efforts for Ukraine, according to the company’s March statement.

“In its latest quarterly results released in early May, the company did not disclose the financial impact of the suspension of business operations. Former CEO Kevin Johnson had pledged to donate royalties from the Russian business to humanitarian causes,” according to CNBC.

The move comes shortly after McDonald’s announced its end of doing business in Russia after 32 years of operation in the country.

The popular fast-food franchise said in a news release last week that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and other unpredictabilities are among the reasons for its departure.

“We’re exceptionally proud of the 62,000 employees who work in our restaurants, along with the hundreds of Russian suppliers who support our business, and our local franchisees. Their dedication and loyalty to McDonald’s make today’s announcement extremely difficult,” Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s president and chief executive officer, said in the press release.

“However, we have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values. And our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the Arches shining there,” he added.

French car manufacturer Renault also recently sold its assets to the Russian government, according to the company.

“The deal, which includes a six-year option for the carmaker to buy back its stake in Avtovaz, the maker of iconic Soviet brand Lada cars, effectively marks the first major nationalization of a Western company’s Russian assets since Moscow invaded Ukraine in late February,” Forbes reported.

According to the report, Renault’s CEO Luca de Meo noted that the decision was the “responsible choice” regarding its hub of 45,000 employees in Russia.

The decision to end business in Russia comes nearly three months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which has led to thousands of deaths in the war-torn nation.

The U.S. and many other nations have led a growing level of sanctions against Russia and have provided billions of dollars in support of Ukraine’s defense and humanitarian needs.

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