Russia McDonald’s: 4 – 0

By: trademagazin Date: 2014. 09. 03. 10:32

Russian courts on Wednesday backed the temporary closure of three McDonald's (MCD.N) restaurants in Moscow for breaches of sanitary rules, amid a standoff with the West over Ukraine, while the state food safety watchdog suspended work at a fourth.

The three restaurants – on Moscow's Manezh square, under the walls of the Kremlin, at Pushkin Square and on Prospect Mira – have been closed since last week on the orders of the watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor. The court rulings confirmed that decision.

Rospotrebnadzor has introduced sweeping checks, including unscheduled inspections, at McDonald's restaurants across the country.

On Wednesday it ordered the temporary closure of a fourth branch in the capital – the sixth nationwide.

Russian businessmen have said the crackdown is linked to the crisis over Ukraine, which has soured U.S.-Russian relations and led to a round of sanctions and trade restrictions. Rospotrebnadzor has denied that its actions are politically motivated.

Oroszország - McDonald's  4 - 0

McDonald's said it would appeal the court rulings, which ordered the three Moscow branches to be closed for 90 days.

“We do not agree with the courts' decisions and will appeal them according to established procedures. We will continue to take care of our employees and do everything we can to continue successful operations in Russia,” said a spokeswoman for the U.S. firm in Russia.

A lawyer representing McDonald's in the court, Maksim Titarenko, was also quoted as saying the courts' decisions to close the branches were unjustified.

“The court has ordered the maximum penalty under this article of the administrative offences code although there are no grounds for it,” Interfax news agency quoted Titarenko as saying.

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