Russian watchdog closes fifth McDonald's restaurant amid Ukraine tensions

Latest closure of a McDonald's restaurant in Russia comes as Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko sat down for talks on Tuesday

Russia's food safety watchdog has ordered the temporary closure of the fifth McDonald's restaurant in less than two weeks in a seemingly tit-for-tat move against Western companies operating in the country following the latest round of sanctions against the Kremlin.

Rospotrebnadzor, the country's consumer protection agency, said it had launched an inspection on one of McDonald's fast food restaurants in Yekaterinburg in the Urals region as a result of "hygiene concerns".

The latest closure comes just days after the same watchdog shut three restaurants in Moscow, including the country's first McDonald's opened in 1990 as a symbol of Western culture, and one in Stavropol alleging "multiple violations" of Russia's sanitary laws.

A spokeswoman for McDonald's said the chain is studying the claims and looks to reopen operations in the five restaurants affected by the closure as soon as possible, adding: "We will do our best to continue the success of McDonald’s business in Russia".

Diplomatic relations between the West and Russia have hit a post-Cold War low point following the annexation of Crimea, which has unleashed tensions between the Kremlin and Kiev amid fears of a full-on Russian military intervention in eastern Ukraine.

Video: Ukraine and Russia hold peace talks

Washington and the European Union have accused the Kremlin of arming pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine following the shooting of the Malaysia Airlines plane on 17 July as it flew over a rebel-controlled area. Moscow has consistently denied this is case and recently announced it would ban food imports from the West in response.

"This is about heading off sanctions threats," said Timothy Ash from Standard Bank. "Russia is looking to increase the pressure on the west to head off the threat of further sanctions."

Despite the hostile rhetoric, Russia’s deputy prime-minister Arkady Dvorkovich insisted over the weekend that the Russian government has no intention of banning McDonald's from doing business in the country, adding that the latest round of sanctions "just happened at the time the inspection" took place.

Last week, French bank Société Générale, which owns a stake in Russian subsidiary Rosbank, warned that British American Tobacco, BASF chemicals, Carlsberg, Coca-Cola, Alstom and E.ON. are the most exposed Western companies to political risks as they generate large revenues in Russia. 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Sport
football
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk