You'll No Longer Be Able To Get Starbucks In Russia. Here's Why

As Russia's war on neighboring Ukraine approaches its fourth month and the international community continues to accuse the invading nation of war crimes (via Reuters), American brands are abandoning their businesses in Russia for good. On May 23, Starbucks announced it would be removing its brand presence from the country.

Starbucks initially paused its business at its Russian locations on March 8, following the start of Russia's invasion on February 24, ceasing all shipments of supplies and shuttering cafes after reaching a deal with the Kuwait-based licensee responsible for its Russian business to help support the company's 2,000 local restaurant employees (via the Seattle Times). CNBC reports that Starbucks operated 130 stores in Russia which accounted for about 1% of the company's total revenue. While it is unclear how much of a financial impact the three month closure has had on the coffee giant's bottom line, the brand will be disentangling itself financially from the Russian market for several months, as it has promised to continue paying its employees for six months and provide assistance seeking other employment.

Starbucks is joining another giant

Starbucks has been in the Russian market since 2007, according to CNN Business, and while the move likely comes as a blow to employees and fans of the brand, it is not as drastic as the similar move announced by McDonald's on May 16.

McDonald's had an iconic presence in Russia for over thirty years. As The Associated Press reported, the Golden Arches first found a home in Moscow just two months after the fall of the Berlin Wall in January 1990, signaling a thawing of tensions between the Soviet Union and the west. The announcement by McDonald's, reported by CNBC, that it would be selling its 850 mostly corporate-owned locations to Siberian licensee Alexander Govor after taking a $127 million first-quarter loss, marks the end of an era for American business in the country. Govor will reportedly run the locations under a new brand name without McDonald's signature recipes or suppliers, but he will retain the existing employees for at least two years.

Starbucks and McDonald's pullouts are just the latest in an extensive series of sanctions and boycotts taken by the international community in response to the war which has killed thousands and has displaced about 14 million Ukrainians, over six million of whom have fled to foreign countries, according to BBC.