McDonald’s, citing the “evolving situation” in Crimea, said Friday it was closing its three restaurants on the Black Sea peninsula, but the move has prompted one prominent Moscow politician to call for the fast-food giant to be booted from all of Russia.
“Due to operational reasons beyond our control, McDonald’s has taken the decision to temporarily close our three restaurants in Simferopol, Sevastopol and Yalta,” a spokeswoman said.
“Like many other multi-national companies, McDonald’s is currently evaluating potential business and regulatory implications which may result from the evolving situation in Crimea,” McDonald’s said in a statement.
The company emphasized that it is “strictly a business decision which has nothing to do with politics.”
“McDonald’s said it hoped to resume work as soon as possible but said it would help relocate staff to work in mainland Ukraine, signaling it did not expect its Crimean businesses to reopen in the near future.”
But the move has sparked anger among Russia’s far right, The Associated Press reports:
“Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of the nationalist Liberal-Democratic Party, or LDPR, said in televised comments that he would welcome the closure of McDonald’s restaurants throughout Russia.
” ‘I will give an order to the LDPR local branches to place pickets outside all of McDonald’s restaurants,’ Zhirinovsky said in televised remarks.
“Other pro-Kremlin lawmakers quickly indicated the government has no intention of cracking down on McDonald’s. Sergei Zheleznyak, a deputy speaker of the lower house and a leading member of the main Kremlin’s party, the United Russia, was quoted by the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper as saying that there is no plan to shut down McDonald’s.”