STARBUCKS has become the latest company to quit Russia over the brutal and barbaric war in Ukraine.
The American coffee giant today announced it will close all 130 cafes across the Vladimir Putin’s country.
Starbucks is one of the world’s most recognisable brands and has 32,000 stores in 80 countries.
The firm is latest high profile Western business to walk away from the isolated pariah nation.
Bosses pledged they would support the firm’s 2,000 employees and give them pay for six months.
It comes as fast food chain McDonald’s also announced it would permanently leave Russia – selling its 850 locations.
Starbucks first opened in Russia in 2007 and quickly expanded, having 100 stores in the country by 2015.
The company first suspended all business operations and shut down all cafes in early March.
But now it confirmed its 130 coffeeshops in Russia will never open again.
It is estimated less than one per cent of Starbucks $29billion global revenue comes from Russia.
In a statement, Starbucks said: “As we mentioned on March 8, we have suspended all business activity in Russia, including shipment of all Starbucks products.
“Starbucks has made the decision to exit and no longer have a brand presence in the market.
“We will continue to support the nearly 2,000 green apron partners in Russia, including pay for six months and assistance for partners to transition to new opportunities outside of Starbucks.”
The Kuwait-based Alshaya Group operates all Starbucks stores in Russia as its sole licensee.
Russia has found itself increasingly isolated on the world stage as global powers have condemned Putin’s invasion.
Businesses have been withdrawing en masse and tough Western sanctions are starting to bite.
Video released today showed McDonald’s logos starting to be pulled down from their former restaurants.
It is a far cry from the hopes of warming relations between the West and Russia when the fast food symbolically open its first store in the Soviet Union back in 1990.
Vlad had expected to roll over Ukraine state in days, but the war grinds on.
Moscow has overseen a disastrous campaign, losing nearly 30,000 troops, being pushed back into Ukraine’s east, and seeing its international reputation left in tatters.
Brutality and barbarism have become hallmarks of Russia’s campaign with widespread reports of war crimes such as the massacre and rape of civilians.
Starbucks first announced a pause of its business interest in Russia back on March 8.
At the time, top boss Kevin Johnson said: “We condemn the horrific attacks on Ukraine by Russia and our hearts go out to all those affected.
“We continue to watch the tragic events unfold and, today, we have decided to suspend all business activity in Russia, including shipment of all Starbucks products. “
“Through this dynamic situation, we will continue to make decisions that are true to our mission and values and communicate with transparency.
“Thank you for the care and concern you are sharing with me and your leaders.”
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