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Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow

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Russia's food safety agency will conduct checks on McDonald's restaurants in the Ural region one day after four branches of the chain were shuttered in Moscow. Customers are wondering if it's food safety or international politics. (Aug. 21)

SHOTLIST:

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Moscow - August 21, 2014

1. Mid of woman walking up to McDonald's door

2. Tight of sign on door

AP Television - AP Clients Only

Moscow, Russia - Undated

3. AP File video of downtown Moscow

AP Television - AP Clients Only

Washington, DC - July 2014

4. President Obama walking to podium at White House

AP Television - AP Clients Only

Moscow, Russia - Undated

5. AP File video of downtown Moscow and river

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Moscow - August 21, 2014

6. Table outside McDonald's with kids and bird

7. McDonald's entranceway

8. Tight of McDonalds doorway

9. Tight of sign next to door

10. SOUNDBITE: (English Translation) Vox Pop, NO SUPER (Transcribed Below)

11. SOUNDBITE: (English Translation) Alexander Ovsyannikov, Moscow Resident (Transcribed Below)

FILE: AP PHOTOS - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Moscow - January 31, 1990

12. STILL Lines in front of first McDonald's restaurant in the USSR on the opening day

13. STILL Old woman eating

14. STILL Boys drinking inside McDonald's restaurant

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Moscow - August 21, 2014

15. Various shots of closed McDonald's

VOICEOVER SCRIPT:

FAST FOOD LOVERS IN RUSSIA ARE FINDING THE DOORS SHUT AT FOUR DIFFERENT MCDONALDS IN MOSCOW.

WHICH RAISES THE QUESTION -- IS IT DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS?

OR IS MOSCOW RETALIATING FOR RECENT SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON RUSSIA BY THE U.S. AND THE EU?

RUSSIA'S FOOD SAFETY AGENCY SAYS THE RESTAURANTS IN MOSCOW HAVE SUSPENDED OPERATIONS DUE TO SANITATION VIOLATIONS.

AND SAYS IT WILL CONDUCT ADDITIONAL INSPECTIONS OF MCDONALDS RESTAURANTS IN THE COUNTRY'S URAL REGION, TOO.

SOME RESIDENTS SUPPORT THE MOVE.

SOUNDBITE (Russian) vox pop, no name given, tourist from Voronezh: (FEMALE VOICE)

"To tell you the truth I think it's right, because they imposed too many sanctions on Russia."

SOUNDBITE (Russian) Alexander Ovsyannikov, Moscow resident:

"I don't know if they will continue but I believe there is a political motivation behind it. Of course, it's an American company."

THE RESTAURANT IN PUSHKIN SQUARE OPENED IN 1990 -- DRAWING HUGE CROWDS AND BECOMING A SYMBOL OF RUSSIA'S OPENNESS WITH THE WEST.

MCDONALD'S COULD NOT BE IMMEDIATELY REACHED FOR COMMENT ABOUT THE UPCOMING CHECKS IN THE URAL REGION.

BUT A STATEMENT POSTED ON THE RUSSIAN VERSION OF ITS WEBSITE SAID IT'S DOING "ALL IT CAN FOR A SPEEDY OPENING" OF THE FOUR MOSCOW RESTAURANTS.

NED BARKER...ASSOCIATED PRESS.

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