McDonald's first restaurant in Russia, which had been closed for 90 days over sanitary violations, has reopened in central Moscow. As Ciara Lee reports the fast food giant says expansion plans are still on track.
Back in business after 90 days. And McDonalds' fans in Moscow seem pleased. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOSCOW RESIDENT, SERGEI, SAYING: "When it was closed I was a bit upset. I had to go to work with an empty bag as I couldn't get anything in the morning." (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOSCOW RESIDENT, VLADA, SAYING: "I study nearby so it's very useful to have somewhere you can grab a bite." Sanitary violations was the reason given for the closure But the timing - as U.S. relations with Russia deteriorated over the crisis in Ukraine - made many suspect politics was involved. Either way the fast food giant has used the time to renovate its oldest Russian restaurant - and says expansion plans are on target (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MCDONALD'S PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR, SVETLANA POLYAKOVA, SAYING: "McDonald's continues to work normally, we have 461 restaurants. We have opened around 45 restaurants this year and will open 25 more next year and the year after." Several other McDonalds' restaurants were also closed for similar reasons. One is due to reopen later this week and another early next year. But not everyone is pleased - "Stop feeding us poison" is the message on this lone protester's sign.