Russia has ordered the temporary closure of four McDonald’s restaurants across Moscow.
The decision comes after visits from food safety officers who allege “sanitary violations” are to blame for the closures.
Many people suspect that the move is some sort of political statement related to the tit-for-tat sanctions war between Russia and the West.
“Well I do not know, actually this McDonald’s is Russian,” said one man. “This step is too much. There is no connection to America. It’s been a Russian-speaking, Russian McDonalds for a long time. This is not a policital issue. There must be something wrong with it.”
Another man said: “They occasionally hit us with different sanctions. Why can’t we do something in return? McDonald’s is a symbol of everything Western. I think this is a good symbolic step that shows we have some guts.”
Russia has banned imports of many Western foods in retaliation for sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.
That’s hurting ordinary Russians by pushing up prices and causing shortages of some goods.
McDonalds employs over 35,000 workers in more than 400 restaurants across Russia.