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Burger King's parent company said on Thursday that it has not been able to close its 800 restaurants in Russia because its independent operator there "refused" to do so, Reuters reported.

The company, Restaurant Brands International Inc., said that to enforce its contracts with the franchisee, Alexander Kolobov, it would need the help of the Russian government, but "we know that will not practically happen anytime soon," according to a letter to employees from David Shear, president, international, of the company.

It was not immediately clear how to reach Kolobov for comment.

Several large companies have shut down operations in Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

Like Burger King, Starbucks does not own or operate its more than 100 cafes there, but unlike Burger King, it had a willing partner - Kuwait-based Alshaya Group - that immediately agreed to shut its Starbucks locations in Russia and support its 2,000 employees.

Restaurant Brands entered Russia a decade ago through a joint venture partnership with three entities: Kolobov, who controls day-to-day operations, private equity and asset management firm Investment Capital Ukraine, and Russia's state-owned VTB Bank, which has been hit by Western sanctions.

Shear said in his letter that Restaurant Brands has started the process to dispose of its 15% ownership stake in the joint venture but it will take "some time" based on the terms of the agreement.

"Would we like to suspend all Burger King operations immediately in Russia? Yes. Are we able to enforce a suspension of operations today?" he wrote. "No."

Other companies to have taken action against Russia include YouTube, Netflix, TikTok, Meta, Spotify, as well as Sony and Amazon.