Starbucks announces plans to leave Russia

Coffee giant Starbucks said Monday that it was permanently ending its operations in Russia, months after suspending business in the country.

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Starbucks announced it would pay its nearly 2,000 workers in Russia for six months and offer them help to transition to new jobs outside of the coffee chain, The Associated Press reported.

“One thing we’re very proud of is we’re continuing to pay our partners in Russia,” Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ chief executive, told The Wall Street Journal.

In March, the coffee company had suspended operations in Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Starbucks has 130 stores in Russia and would not specify to the Wall Street Journal what financial impact the stores’ closure will have, only saying that the Russian market accounts for a relatively small portion of its sales.

Starbucks’ exit follows similar moves by other companies. McDonald’s announced last week that it would sell its business in Russia and “de-Arch” the restaurants, CNN reported. McDonald’s presence in Russia was far larger, with 847 restaurants and 62,000 employees, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Starbucks had been operating in Russia for 15 years, CNBC reported.