MOSCOW, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. fast-food restaurant chain McDonald's will spend around $135 million to expand and upgrade its Russian operations, company officials say.
McDonald's chief operations officer Jim Skinner Monday said Russia has emerged as a priority area for investment for the company headquartered in Oakbrook, Ill., this year, RIA Novosti reported.
Skinner said the Russia plan is part of the fast-food giant's $1.2 billion European development strategy. McDonald's currently has some 6,600 European restaurants and is set to open another 250 this year.
Skinner told the Russian news agency that between 40 and 45 new McDonalds' outlets would be opened in Russia each year through 2012, up from its current count of 245 Russian restaurants.