A pair of celebrated Russian filmmakers are seeking government support for a patriotic café chain to rival foreign businesses like McDonald's.
Oscar winner Nikita Mikhaolkov and his brother Andrei Konchalovsky have impressed Russian President Vladimir Putin with the $18m (£12.3m, €17m) fast-food chain proposal, Russian business daily Kommersant reported.
Putin reportedly told the government to study the brothers' proposal after the brothers sent him a letter on March 16 asking for help establishing a network of fast-food cafes called 'Eat at Home!'
"The goal of this project is to promote import substitution and create alternatives to Western fast food chains," the newspaper quoted the brothers as saying in an outline.
Russia is engaged in an economic confrontation with the United States and the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine conflict. Russia banned food imports from the West in retaliation over Western sanctions targeted Putin's close aides and parts of the Russian economy.
Amid the climate of deteriorating diplomatic relations, Russia suddenly closed a number of McDonald's restaurants citing concerns over sanitation. Many Russia analysts saw the move as politically motivated. The restaurants, including the flagship store in Moscow's Pushkin Square, reopened after three months.
The row reignited in March when an aide to the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Gennady Onischenko, accused McDonald's and Coca Cola of waging war on the Russian people by aggressively marketing unhealthy food to Russians.
A senior Russian lawmaker weighed in after the Onishchenko comments, urging the companies to leave. "Don't McDonald's and Coca Cola want to support Obama's sanctions and rid us of their products?" Dmitry Peshkov wrote on Twitter. "They would stick to principles and we would be healthier," he added.
McDonald's has 400 restaurants in Russia and plans to boost the number in the coming years.