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Russia’s historic first McDonald’s to reopen November 19

November 18, 2014, 21:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Several McDonald's outlets were shut down across the country over breaches of sanitary rules, covering locations from Moscow to the Urals and from St. Petersburg to the southern Stavropol region
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People standing in line to get into the first McDonald's in the USSR in 1990
© Oleg Buldakov/Fotokhronika TASS
People standing in line to get into the first McDonald's in the USSR in 1990
© AP Photo
People queue up to the McDonald's on Pushkin Square in 1991
© Oleg Vlasov/Fotokhronika TASS

MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. Moscow’s historic first McDonald’s restaurant, closed this past summer after unscheduled checks by Russia's food safety watchdog, will reopen on November 19, company spokeswoman Svetlana Polyakova said on Tuesday.

The famous location on Pushkin Square, which brought McDonald's to Russia just before the fall of the Soviet Union, and which the company says is its most frequented in the world, will reopen its doors in the afternoon on Wednesday, followed by a branch on the thoroughfare Prospect Mira next week and another restaurant on Manezh Square under the Kremlin walls in January next year, Polyakova said.

In late August, Russia's consumer watchdog started checking restaurants of the fast-food giant nationwide. Several McDonald's outlets were shut down across the country over breaches of sanitary rules, covering locations from Moscow to the Ural mountains and from St. Petersburg to the southern Stavropol region.

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.

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