NEW YORK (AP) - McDonald's closed its three restaurants in Crimea as it evaluates the "evolving situation" on the Black Sea peninsula.
The world's biggest hamburger chain said Friday that the closures were "strictly a business decision which has nothing to do with politics." It cited the suspension of financial and banking services and said it is evaluating the potential business and regulatory implications of the situation.
Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula in mid-March, saying that the pro-Russian Crimeans had a right to break away from Ukraine. The West and Ukraine do not recognize the annexation.
The restaurants in Crimea were owned by McDonald's Corp., rather than franchisees.
"We hope to reopen our restaurants soon so we can welcome back our loyal customers," McDonald's said in its statement.