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Russia Checks More McDonald's After Closing 3

Published: August 22, 2014 (Issue # 1825)



  • A man tries unsuccessfully to get into the McDonald’s restaurant on Manezh Square in the center of Moscow.
    Photo: Pascal Dumont / SPT

MOSCOW — Russia's food safety agency said Thursday that it was checking McDonald's restaurants around the country, a day after several branches of the chain were shuttered in Moscow.

The pressure on the American chain, which has 435 restaurants in Russia, comes at a time of heightened tensions over the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

After the United States and the European Union slapped sanctions on Russian state banks and major industries last month, Russia responded with a wide-ranging ban on food products imported from those countries.

Inspections took place or were planned in dozens of regions, Russian news agencies reported, quoting regional representatives of the federal regulatory agency, Rospotrebnadzor. It was unclear how many restaurants were affected, and whether any of them were closed down as a result.

On Wednesday, the agency ordered four Moscow restaurants to suspend operations, citing numerous violations of sanitary laws. McDonald's said only three of those restaurants were closed.

One of those restaurants, on Moscow's central Pushkin Square, was the first to open in the Soviet Union in 1990, drawing crowds of thousands that circled around the block. The restaurant became a symbol of reform and openness with the West, and today it is one of the company's most visited venues in Russia.

News reports on Russian state television, which plays a powerful role in shaping public opinion, included interviews with passers-by who offered their opinions on the unhealthiness of the restaurants' fast food and noted that Russia now has plenty of homegrown alternatives.

In a statement posted on the Russian version of its website Wednesday, the company said it was studying the regulatory agency's complaints to determine what needed to be done to reopen the restaurants as soon as possible. McDonald's 435 restaurants in Russia include 115 in Moscow, where some 12,000 people are employed.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Sunday, Jan. 25


Get out your running shoes for the 46th International Road of Life Marathon. Dedicated to the end of the blockade, three runs are offered — 5, 21 and 42 kilometer runs — starting in different places outside the city. Busses leave from 13/1 Arsenalnaya Naberezhny at 8 a.m. but check complete details and registration fees on www.newrunners.ru/race/doroga-zhizni-2015



If you are planning a wedding, head over to the Azimut Hotel, 43/1 Lermontovsky Prospekt from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The day includes live music, free dance classes and vendors selling wedding dresses, accessories, cakes and services to help make your special day perfect. Admission is free.



Monday, Jan. 26


Feeling stressed by the crisis? The Northwest Coach University at 3 Ulitsa Vostsstanaya is hosting a master class by lifecoach Tatiana Almazova. She will shed light on the coaching process, the usefulness of coaching during times of economic downturn and how coaching can improve your career and business prospects. The event starts at 7 p.m. and admission is free. Pre-register by calling 424 3700.



Discover the State Hermitage Museum's collection of English painting at a lecture by art historian Yelizaveta Renne at the Prince Galitzine Library, 46 Nab. Reki Fontanki. The event starts at 6 p.m. and the lecture will be followed by a concert of arias, songs and duets by English composer Henry Purcell. The event is free of charge.



Tuesday, Jan. 27


Celebrate the 71st anniversary of the end of the Siege of Leningrad on Palace Square with a free concert at 7 p.m. Listen to WWII-era songs and the poetry of Olga Bergholz while you peruse outdoor exhibitions dedicated to life during wartime. The event is capped off by a fireworks display at 9 p.m.



Stop by the Lexica School of Foreign Languages at 73 Ligovsky Prospekt from now until Friday for a free English lesson. The classes start at 7 p.m. and cover all levels, from Beginner to Advanced. Registration by telephone on 7641692 and a desire to improve your skills are the only prerequisites.







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