Fast-food giant McDonald's announced Friday that it has closed its three restaurants in Crimea following the territory's annexation by Russia, Reuters reported.
The U.S.-based chain is the first American company to take such action.
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"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 company spokeswoman told Reuters.
Though McDonald's didn't mention the political unrest in its announcement, many speculate that it has to do with growing tensions between the region and the Western world. The Crimean outlets are not franchises; they are owned and operated by McDonald's.
McDonald's said it hopes to reopen the restaurants soon and promised to take care of employees affected by the closures.
"The company has provided an opportunity to all employees ... to transfer to any other McDonald's restaurants in Ukraine preserving their positions, salaries and fees and paying to relocate employees and their families," McDonald's said in a statement, according to Reuters.
The move follows Thursday's announcement from Geneva-based Universal Postal Deutsche Post that letters bound for Crimea would no longer be accepted since delivery couldn't be guaranteed, according to Reuters.
According to their website, McDonald's
has more than 35,000 locations worldwide and serves about 70 million customers in more than 100 countries daily. In February, the company announced it was opening its first location in Vietnam.
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