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Starbucks opens first shop in Russia with a cappuccino

The first Starbucks in Russia opened in a shopping mall in Khimki, just north of Moscow - but only after a court fight over the company name, which a Russian 'squatter' had tried to claim. The first Starbucks in Russia opened in a shopping mall in Khimki, just north of Moscow - but only after a court fight over the company name, which a Russian "squatter" had tried to claim. (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

KHIMKI, Russia - Starbucks opened its first coffee shop in Russia yesterday, two years after it won a legal battle to protect the right to its brand in the fast-growing Russian market.

"This is an important step for the company, and we are looking forward to being a part of everyday life for Russians," said Cliff Burrows, president of Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa, as he opened the cafe.

The newest Starbucks in the worldwide chain of about 10,000 outlets is in the Mega shopping mall in Khimki, just north of Moscow.

Starbucks plans a second store in Russia on Moscow's historic Stary Arbat street before the end of the year.

In 2005, the Seattle company won a trademark fight over the Starbucks name. A "squatter" had registered the right to use the name in Russia and was asking $600,000 from Starbucks to relinquish it.

The company successfully proved in Russian courts that it was the rightful owner of the name.

Alyona Mikhailova, 34, placed Russia's first official Starbucks order, for a venti, or medium, cappuccino.

"In all of the countries I've been to I always definitely go to Starbucks, so I was really waiting for this opening," she said.

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