The owner of Burger King said the operator of its 800 stores in Russia had “refused” to close them.
The chairman of Restaurant Brands International (RBI), which has owned Burger King and operated its restaurants in Russia for a decade, said the company was trying to pull out of the Russian market after the invasion of Ukraine.
“We have contacted the main operator of the company and requested the suspension of operations of the Burger King restaurant in Russia. He refused to do so,’ RBI Chairman David Shear wrote in an open letter to employees.
“We have suspended all corporate support for the Russian market, including operations, marketing and supply chain support, in addition to denying approvals for new investments and expansions.”
Mr Shear said the company’s “complicated” agreements with foreign partners prevented it from withdrawing from its Russian business, adding that any changes would “ultimately require the support of the Russian authorities on the ground and we we know that’s hardly going to happen any time soon.” ‘.
The joint venture, of which RBI owns 15%, with Mr Kobolov also includes a Ukrainian investment fund and VTB Capital, a subsidiary of Russia’s second largest financial institution, VTB Bank.
VTB Bank was sanctioned by UK, US and many European countries for the invasion.
Many other Western outlets like Starbucks, McDonald’s and Nike have ceased operations in Russia as the conflict continues in Ukraine.