American fast food outlet McDonald’s is the latest industry giant to suspend operations in Russia, joining the cafe chain Starbucks and soft drinks giants Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
The US and UK governments have meanwhile announced that they plan to completely phase out oil imports from Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
McDonald’s will temporarily close all 847 of its restaurants in Russia, while Coca-Cola and Pepsi will stop selling their drinks there.
The closure of McDonald’s is especially symbolic of the complete breakdown in relations between Russia and the West. One of the most famous images of the end of the Cold War was Soviet restaurant go-ers queuing up to try a Big Mac when McDonald’s first opened in 1990.
The company is set to take a substantial hit from its decision, as roughly 9% of its sales currently come from Russia.
That is nothing, however, compared to the damage Russia’s economy has taken since Putin announced his decision to send troops into Ukraine.
US president Joe Biden’s announcement that the US will stop all imports of oil from Russia will have a devastating impact on the country’s economy.
“Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at US ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine,” Biden said on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson later announced that the UK would match America’s ban.
While these two countries account for only around 10% of Russia’s oil exports, their boycott will still have a massive impact on its economy, which is dependent on oil exports.
Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted his thanks on Tuesday evening: “Thankful for US and [the president’s] personal leadership in striking in the heart of Putin’s war machine and banning oil, gas and coal from the US market. Encourage other countries and leaders to follow”.
Image source: @washingtonpost