CHICAGO — McDonald’s will start reopening some of its restaurants in Ukraine in the coming months, a symbol of the war-torn country’s return to some sense of normalcy and a show of support after the American fast-food chain pulled out of Russia.
The burger giant closed its Ukrainian restaurants after Russia’s invasion nearly six months ago but has continued to pay more than 10,000 McDonald’s employees in the country.
McDonald’s said Thursday that it will begin gradually reopening some restaurants in the capital, Kyiv, and western Ukraine, where other companies are doing business away from the fighting. Western businesses like Nike and KFC are open in Kyiv.
“We’ve spoken extensively to our employees who have expressed a strong desire to return to work and see our restaurants in Ukraine reopen,” Paul Pomroy, corporate senior vice president of international operated markets, said in a message to workers. “In recent months, the belief that this would support a small but important sense of normalcy has grown stronger.”
The Ukrainian economy has been severely damaged by the war and restarting businesses, even in a limited capacity, would help. The International Monetary Fund expects Ukraine’s economy to shrink by 35 percent this year.