The burger giant said it will continue paying its 62,000 employees in Russia "who have poured their heart and soul into our McDonald’s brand." But in an open letter to employees, McDonald’s President and CEO Chris Kempckinski said closing those stores for now is the right thing to do.
"Our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine," Kempczinski said.
Kempczinski said it’s impossible to know when the company will be able to reopen its stores.
"The situation is extraordinarily challenging for a global brand like ours, and there are many considerations," Kempczinski wrote in the letter. McDonald’s works with hundreds of Russian suppliers, for example, and serves millions of customers each day.
McDonald’s has also temporarily closed 108 restaurants in Ukraine and continues to pay those employees.
McDonald’s could take a big financial hit because of the closures. In a recent regulatory filing, the Chicago-based company said its restaurants in Russia and Ukraine contributed 9% of its annual revenue, or around $2 billion.