McDonald's plans to open 70 restaurants in 30 Russian cities by the end of this year, significantly expanding its reach into cities that were never home to the fast food empire before, McDonald's development director in Russia told ITAR-Tass on Tuesday.
"We'll have restaurants in Siberia, in the Central Federal District, and in the south of the country," development director Lenar Kutlin said. The chain already has 425 restaurants in Russia, according to its website.
The southern Siberian cities of Novosibirsk, Omsk and Tomsk will be the first to welcome the arrival of the Big Mac, he said. Kutlin declined to identify which cities in the Central Federal District — which comprises Moscow and 17 western Russian regions — are next in line, but said that they have never had their own McDonald's before.
Kutlin declined to say whether McDonald's plans to renew its operations in Crimea. The U.S. chain closed its restaurants in the Crimean cities of Simferopol, Sevastopol and Yalta in April following Russia's annexation of the peninsula in late March.
McDonald's denied at that the time that politics was behind the closures, saying that "the suspension of necessary financial and banking services" left the company no choice but to close down the restaurants.