The bad news keeps on rolling in for McDonald's: Not only is the burger chain facing its worst sales slump in a decade but now Russian consumer-safety regulators have announced a plan to inspect over 200 units within the country. According to Bloomberg, Russian courts have also temporarily closed nine McDonald's Russia locations, including the very first — and busiest — location in Moscow's Pushkin Square. The chain notes in a statement on its Russian website (translated) that it plans to appeal this decision to a higher court.
McDonald's has been at war with Russia for the better part of 2014. Earlier this year, political tensions began to rise between America and Russia after the conflict over Ukraine. While dealing with Western sanctions, Russian officials seem to be using McDonald's — a highly visible American presence within the country — as an example. Watchdog agencies have been deployed to catch McDonald's supposed mishandling of food, leading the government to force locations to close in the name of public safety. The agency denies that its actions are politically motivated, however.
Chicken McNuggets and Big Macs aren't the only Western food forced to endure the Russian wrath: In August, Russian banned all edible imports — including cheese and vegetables — from the U.S., Canada, the European Union, and more in response to Western sanctions. Currently, McDonald's has around 440 restaurants in Russia.