— -- McDonald's is expanding its global reach to what's commonly known to as one of the most remote regions of the world: Siberia.
The biggest burger chain in the world announced that it will have up to 20 locations in four regions in western Siberia: Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Kemerovo and Altay.
The company signed an agreement with a development licensee, the Chicago Tribune reported. A spokeswoman for McDonald's told the newspaper that the deal is part of the company's restructuring plan, which includes increasing franchisee ownership of restaurants to 90 percent by 2018 from the current 81 percent.
While many people may not be surprised that the city of Novosibirsk can have average winter temperatures below zero degrees, they may be surprised that it's a populous city. Russia's third-biggest city after Moscow and St. Petersburg, and its more than 1.5 million people, will have their own McDonald's.
The city of Kemerovo boasts of about 530,000 people, who may have other food options besides the Big Mac. This summer, the government there announced an initiative to distribute 1,000 sheep and rams among large families to use for food or material for warm clothing, the Moscow Times reported, to promote sustainability.
"We are confident that the use of the franchising scheme will be a next step in the successful development of our business and will contribute to a further strengthening of the McDonald's brand in Russia," McDonald's Russian Chief Executive Khamzat Khasbulatov said in a statement to Reuters. McDonald's already has 500 restaurants in 125 cities in Russia, Reuters reported.
The city of Tomsk has a population of about 540,000. The historic city was formerly a trading hub and is famous for its intricate wooden homes built by artisans. During the Communist revolution, the Russian government converted the homes into communal apartments with several families, which led to their neglect. In recent years, the city's residents have moved to preserve the 1,800 or so homes, according to Getty Images.
McDonald's did not immediately respond to a request for comment.