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BBC: Burger King still 'open as usual' in Russia

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 3, 2023 3:10 PM 2 min read
A Burger King Restaurant in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Sept. 1, 2022. (Photo by Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Burger King "remains open as usual in Russia," despite the fast food chain claiming at the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine that it would exit the country, the BBC reported on Oct. 3.

Burger King is a subsidiary of the Canadian-American multinational company Restaurant Brands International (RBI), which owns a 15% stake in Burger King's franchise business in Russia.

RBI's president, David Shear, said in March 2022 that the company had "started the process" to dispose of this stake, but this would take time due to its "complicated franchise agreement, according to the BBC.

However, more than a year and a half later, there are "no new updates" on the matter, the company told the BBC.

The Burger King franchise in Russia is a joint venture of RBI, Ukrainian investment firm ICU Group, Russian investment bank VTB Capital, and Russian businessman Alexander Kolobov.

ICU Group told the BBC it has "no control over the joint venture or operations in Russia" and is at the "final stage of exiting" the franchise, adding that it had abstained from profiting from or investing in the joint venture since the start of the full-scale invasion.  

While Burger King continues to do business with Russia,  its competitor McDonald's announced in May 2022 that it would close its 847 restaurants in the country.

McDonald's also shut down all of its 109 chain joints in Ukraine at the start of the full-scale invasion but began to reopen some of its restaurants in the autumn of 2022.

Ukraine designates PepsiCo, Mars as ‘international war sponsors’
Ukraine’s National Corruption Prevention Agency added major food corporations PepsiCo and Mars to the “international sponsors of war” list on Sept. 1.
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