Burger King invades Crimea after McDonald's exit
BK already has around 200 restaurants in Russia
Crimea is a battleground not only for neighbouring nations but for fast food chains it seems, with Burger King Russia announcing plans to open restaurants in the peninsula after McDonald's left due to 'unspecified manufacturing reasons'.
BK sensed an opportunity amid annexations, political unrest and its rival's departure, and plans to open its first outlet in Crimea shortly.
"We are planning to open in Crimea, but I cannot say when exactly it will happen or how many outlets the company will have," said Burger King Russia CEO Dmitry Medovy on Wednesday, news agency Itar Tass reports.
Burger King currently has around 200 restaurants in Russia, as part of a franchise which state-owned bank VTB currently has a 36.6 percent stake in.
VTB committed to funnel $100 million into developing the chain, according to The Moscow Times, the move into Crimea being not unlike a Russian version of a Trojan horse made out of hamburger wrappers and grease.
McDonald's closed its restaurants in Simferopol, Sevastopol and Yalta and withdrew from the territory on April 4, saying in a statement: "Like many other multi-national companies, McDonald's is currently evaluating potential business and regulatory implications which may result from the evolving situation in Crimea.
"Due to the suspension of necessary financial and banking services, we have no option but to close our three restaurants in Crimea."
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