McDonald's, Methadone Not Available in Crimea Under Russia

McDonald’s and methadone will not be available in Crimea since the peninsula is now a part of the Russian Federation.

Restaurants in Simferopol, Sevastopol, and Yalta will close due to manufacturing reasons. However, McDonald’s said they will help employees relocate to Ukraine’s mainland.

The main priority for us is taking care of our employees, so the company has provided an opportunity to all employees of these institutions to transfer to other McDonald’s restaurants in Ukraine preserving their positions, salaries and fees paid relocating employees and their families to a new residence, and provide housing for months by the company.

If the employee chooses not to move to Ukraine, McDonald’s will compensate their salary and help them find new work.

Heroin addicts will be denied methadone as a way to fight their addictions. The HIV/AIDS rate in Crimea was very high due to shared needles among addicts and the Ukraine Health Ministry decided to fight it by providing methadone. The virus rate declined in 2012. Russia, though, bans methadone because they think it will end up in the hands of criminals. Insteadm they tell addicts to “quit cold turkey.” While HIV declined in Ukraine and Crimea the virus is spreading in Russia.

The Associated Press interviewed addict Sergei Kislov, who is using methadone to break his heroin addiction. He said it has been working without any withdrawal. He also thought the program would be extended to the end of the year. Denis Trovin, director of the clinic that coordinates the methadone treatment, said it changed on March 20.

"As it turns out, the lives of the people participating in this program are less important than politicking," said Troshin. "It's as if (the doctors) are saying: 'We're doing everything according to how Russian law is even before it's implemented ... We're so zealous that we're closing (the program) right now and we don't care about the 130 families who will be affected.'"

Troshin says the group has sent letters to both local and national politicians. But even if the group gets permission from local authorities to extend the program, the Ukrainian health minister told local news agencies Monday that Ukraine would not be sending any more methadone to Crimea, and recommended that any addicts there move to mainland Ukraine if they wanted to continue their treatment.

Russia officially annexed Crimea from Ukraine on March 21 after Crimeans voted on March 16. Ukraine and the West do not recognize the annexation.


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