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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

Wednesday, Sept. 17


AmCham’s Investment and Legal Committee Meeting convenes this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center at 9 a.m.


Learn more about the science of teaching English at today’s EFL Seminar hosted by the British Book Center. Revolving around the topic of learning styles, the workshop will help attendees better understand the different effective learning methods that can be implemented to learn English more effectively.



Thursday, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburg’s answer to the United States’ popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genre’s authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBA’s newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is “Handmade in Germany,” an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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