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McDonald's Closes Crimea Branches Due to 'Reasons Beyond Our Control'

The company says it has offered affected employees work elsewhere in Ukraine.

McDonald's has closed its restaurants in Crimea, the fast food giant said on Friday, the latest international company to scale back operations in the peninsula recently annexed by Russia.

The company said in a statement that its three branches in the region were shuttered because of "operational reasons beyond our control."

McDonald's said it hoped to re-open the restaurants in the cities of Simferopol, Sevastopol and Yalta as soon as possible. In another statement posted on its Ukrainian website, the company offered to relocate staff to other branches in Ukraine.

"The company has provided an opportunity to all employees ... to transfer to any other McDonald's restaurants in Ukraine preserving their positions, salaries and fees and paying to relocate employees and their families," the Reuters translation of the Ukrainian-language statement said.

Crimea was annexed by Russia last month after a referendum sparked by regime change in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

Deutsche Post, the world's largest courier company and owner of DHL, announced on Thursday that it would no longer accept letters destined for Crimea after its counterpart there, Universal Postal Union (UPU), said delivery to the region could not be guaranteed.

Reuters contributed to this report.

- Alexander Smith