Russia said on Thursday it was investigating dozens of McDonald’s restaurants, in what many businessmen said was retaliation for Western sanctions over Ukraine they fear could spread to other symbols of Western capitalism.

Russia’s food safety watchdog said it was looking at possible breaches of sanitary rules at McDonald’s, but many in the business community said it was a reflection of the deterioration in relations between Russia and the West over Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country are fighting against government forces.

“Obviously, it’s driven by the political issues surrounding Ukraine,” said Alexis Rodzianko, president and CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia.

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