Lavrov says he plays football once a week, goes rafting every yearSport March 29, 3:59
UK prime minister signs formal Brexit letter to Brussels — official photoWorld March 29, 1:26
Some 20 Topol-M, Yars mobile ICBM systems take part in massive Central Russian drillsMilitary & Defense March 28, 23:10
Russia clinches last-minute 3-3 draw with Belgium in friendly football match in SochiSport March 28, 21:40
Washington-based National Symphony Orchestra members excited to perform in RussiaSociety & Culture March 28, 21:36
'Gentlefan' continues: 'Angels' greet Belgium football fans ahead of Sochi gameSport March 28, 21:12
Scottish parliament backs new referendum on independenceWorld March 28, 20:42
Russian strategic missile carriers to take part in military drills in TajikistanMilitary & Defense March 28, 20:10
Russia’s offshore energy projects in the ArcticBusiness & Economy March 28, 19:33
Earlier, Russia’s consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor suspended the work of seven McDonald’s restaurants across Russia.
McDonald’s plans to modernize five restaurants in St. Petersburg, two in Moscow, two in the wider Moscow region, two in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg and seven more across the country.
Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Russian authorities were not planning to close down McDonald's chain nationwide.
“No-one is talking about it at all [a ban on McDonald's in Russia],” Dvorkovich said after inspectors took to the road. But some businessmen in Russia said checks had been driven by souring relations between Russia and the West over events in Ukraine.
Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets said there was no “total plan” to inspect all the chain's outlets in Russia. She claimed activities were being carried out “in accordance with the general plan, and based on some cases of violations of sanitary-epidemiological legislation”.
Outlets closed as Russia introduced a year-long embargo on meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway in retaliation for economic sanctions imposed by those nations on Russia.
McDonald's operates 435 restaurants in 85 Russian cities and rates the country one of its top seven markets outside the United States and Canada, according to its 2013 annual report. The company employs nearly 37,000 people in Russia, serving more than one million customers a day.