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McDonald's to open restaurants in Russia's far east in expansion drive

FILE PHOTO: A McDonald's logo is pictured at a branch that is being used as a Test Centre to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Leicester, Britain, April 25, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Global fast food giant McDonald's Corp. MCD.N plans to expand in Russia's far east in December, opening restaurants in cities such as Khabarovsk and Vladivostok for the first time, the company said on Monday.

McDonald’s did not specify how many new restaurants would open in the region, but said the first phase would create around 300 jobs.

“The development of a network of branches in Russia is one of the company’s top priorities. In 2020, the network is continuing to actively invest in Russia’s economy and widen its presence on the market,” McDonald’s said in a statement.

“By the end of the year, we plan to open the 800th branch in the country.”

McDonald’s has over 750 restaurants in Russia, across 60 of the countries more than 80 regions. The company’s total investments in Russia exceed $2.5 billion, while average annual growth of investments is around 14%.

The first McDonald’s restaurant opened in Moscow on Jan. 31, 1990, in the final months of the Soviet Union, with over 30,000 people queuing around the block for a first taste of American fast food. A 30th anniversary giveaway was scrapped earlier this year over coronavirus fears.

Reporting by Olga Popova; Writing by Alexander Marrow, editing by Louise Heavens

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