OAK BROOK, Ill., April 4 (UPI) -- McDonald's Ukraine Ltd. halted operations in three of its restaurants in Crimea, following the ongoing tensions in the region.
McDonald's has said the closures are due to "manufacturing reasons," and that it hoped to resume work at the restaurants as soon as possible.
"Due to manufacturing reasons, not dependent on McDonald's, the work of restaurants in Simferopol, Sevastopol and Yalta has been temporarily halted," McDonald's Ukraine Ltd. said in a statement.
The company said that it had offered its Crimean employees work at its Ukrainian restaurants at their current salary levels and also offered to cover the costs of relocation expenses for the employees and their families.
McDonald's is the second company in Crimea to halt operations after Deutsche Post said on Thursday it was no longer accepting letters for Crimea.
The closure led to protests from Russian politicians with Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of the Liberal and Democratic Party of Russia, asking that all McDonald's restaurants across Russia be closed.
"McDonald's has closed its restaurants in the Crimea -- this is very good. Now it needs to close all restaurants in Russia. I ordered the teams of municipal organizations of LDPR to put pickets in front of all McDonald's restaurants in Moscow and across the country. They should get out of the country ... as soon as possible," Zhirinovsky told reporters on Friday.
Zhirinovsky proceeded to spew his anger at Pepsi as well, the reasons for which are unknown.
"We will close them across the country and then proceed to Pepsi," he said.
[Ria Novosti] [Voice of Russia]