American fast-food giant McDonald's has announced its complete exit from Russia. The company said it would no longer be doing business in the country, and it will immediately begin its "de-Arching" process, which means that it will be removing all of its branding elements.

McDonald's opened its first branch in Russia in 1990, with its first restaurant established in the capital city of Moscow. The company has since served millions of Russian customers with its more than 800 outlets nationwide. McDonald's said it expects to incur a loss of between $1.2 and $1.4 billion as a result of its exit from Russia.

In a press release announcing its official exit from the country, McDonald's said the decision was made due to the ongoing "humanitarian crisis" following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The company said it was actively looking for a local buyer to take over its hundreds of restaurants throughout the county. The decision to fully exit from the county came after McDonald's joined other multinational companies, including Pepsi, Starbucks, and Coca-Cola, in shutting down operations in Russia due to the war in Ukraine.

McDonald's added that apart from the humanitarian crisis, the "unpredictable operating environment" had also pushed it to decide on a complete exit. The company said continuing to do business in Russia was also no longer "consistent with its values."

McDonald's president and CEO Chris Kempczinski thanked all of the company's more than 62,000 employees and its hundreds of local suppliers in Russia. He added that he was "exceptionally proud" to have worked with these people, and it has been very difficult to come to the decision to leave them behind.

Kempczinski said McDonald's continues to be committed to the global community and its values, which is why they have decided to shut down its brand in Russia. Like the other multinational companies, McDonald's had shut down all of its restaurants in Russia in March. However, the company had hoped for the conflict to be resolved, which is why it had continued to pay its employees and suppliers throughout the country.

McDonald's had also closed some of its restaurants in Ukraine, particularly in areas where there was heavy fighting. The company said it did it for the safety of its employees, which it had continued to pay even if its restaurants were closed.

The company said in its press release that it would do everything it can to support its employees in Russia. McDonald's said it would continue to pay its Russian employees until it is able to finalize a deal with a local buyer and ensure that its employees are able to keep their jobs under the new owner.