A Russian consumer protection agency has reportedly filed a lawsuit against McDonald's in Russia.
The food agency accused the American chain of violating government nutritional and safety codes.
The lawsuit alleged the fast-food giant as unsanitary and unhealthy for selling foods that have more fat and carbohydrates than that is allowed by Russian national regulations.
If successful, these charges can ban McDonald’s from serving cheeseburgers, milkshakes and the Filet-o-Fish from its menu.
However, the lawsuit came at a difficult timing. Since the crisis in Ukraine resulted in political tension between the U.S. and Russia, the targeting of a leading American brand raised eyebrows.
This is not the first for food imports to fall victim to geopolitical tensions in Russia. McDonald's “could be the next victim of a proxy war” between the two powers, according to NBC.
The consumer protection agency, Rospotrebnadzor, has a history of actions that are parallel to Russia’s political agenda. In 2008, after tensions between Georgia and Russia, the food agency banned two major Georgian exports; wine and mineral water, for failing to meet the sanitary norms.
McDonald’s branched into the Soviet Union 25 years ago and the Russians were thrilled by the American taste, but now the premier brand is a subject of a lawsuit that can ban its signature products.
If McDonald’s does not meet the regulations they will be declared as illegal, however the penalty is still to be confirmed.
Two restaurants in Moscow have already been fined with 70,000 rubles ($2,100).