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McDonald's 'Should Be Evicted From Russia', Says Ultranationalist Politician, After Crimea Shutdown

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MCDONALDS CRIMEA
A man and a little girl look at a closed McDonald's in the Crimean capital Simferopol on April 4, 2014. US fast food giant McDonald's said today it was temporarily shutting its three stores in Crimea following the Ukrainian peninsula's annexation by Russia. AFP PHOTO/ YURIY LASHOV (Photo credit should read YURIY LASHOV/AFP/Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

McDonald's has already abandoned its restaurants in Crimea and now a Moscow politician has called for all of the US fast food chain's outlets in Russia to be shut.

The opening of Russia’s first McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow 24 years ago was seen as a powerful symbol of the end of the Cold War, and the ascendance of a global free market economy.

But now, ultranationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who is widely viewed to have close links to President Vladimir Putin, called for McDonald's to halt serving "their poisonous food" in the Motherland.

mcdonalds crimea

Economic relations between Russia and Ukraine have worsened since Russia annexed Crimea last month in response to the ouster of Russian-backed president Viktor Yanukovich after months of street protests in Kiev.

McDonald's said closing branches in Crimea was due to unspecified manufacturing reasons "beyond the company's control".

In response, Zhirinovsky called for McDonald's to shut all over Russia "so there is not a scent of them left", saying he was ready to lead a campaign to force the closure.

"It would be good if they closed here too ... if they disappeared for good. Pepsi-Cola would be next," Russian media quoted Zhirinovsky as saying.

He added: "As a form of sanctions, they have agreed not to poison Crimeans in Crimea.

"And we are supposed to be offended that we're not going to eat their poisonous food."

In addition to a lack of McDonalds in Crimea, hundreds of heroin addicts issued with methadone have been told the replacement drug will no longer be made available to them.