Another McDonald's shuts in Russia

The oldest of Moscow's McDonald's outlets, which was opened in 1990, closed on August 21. Photo / AP
The oldest of Moscow's McDonald's outlets, which was opened in 1990, closed on August 21. Photo / AP

Russian authorities have closed the first McDonald's restaurant outside the capital over alleged sanitary violations in a move seen as retaliation for Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

Consumer safety agency Rospotrebnadzor said it had temporarily closed a McDonald's restaurant in the southern city of Stavropol, citing unspecified sanitary violations.

Russia last week shut three McDonald's in Moscow and launched inspections of the company's more than 400 restaurants across the country.

See AP Video: Tit for tat? McDonald's shut in Moscow

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McDonald's Russian unit was not immediately available for comment on Monday evening.

While ostensibly for health reasons, the move against the US burger chain came close on the heels of the West ratcheting up sanctions on Moscow for its role in the Ukraine crisis - and Russia banning most US and EU food imports in retaliation.

Russia has a long history of using sudden food safety concerns as a political weapon against unfriendly states.

While McDonald's is a symbol of American culture, the company has made huge efforts to build up its local supply chain and says it buys 85 per cent of the food it serves in Russia inside the country.

- AFP

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