BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in:  World: Europe
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Sunday, 31 March, 2002, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
Russia lifts US chicken ban
US chicken on sale in Moscow
US chicken flooded the Russian market a decade ago
Russia has agreed to lift a ban on poultry imports from the United States removing what one American official called the "number one problem" between the two countries.

The dispute has been solved ahead of a summit in May between presidents Vladimir Putin and George W Bush.

Russia imposed the ban on imports of chicken and turkey on 10 March, citing concerns including salmonella contamination and the use of antibiotics in feed.


This dispute has caused some harm to bilateral economic relations - that's undeniable

US Ambassador Alexander Vershbow

But analysts viewed the Russian embargo as a tit-for-tat move after Washington introduced tariffs of up to 30% on US steel imports.

US Ambassador Alexander Vershbow said he signed a protocol agreement under which the US agreed to exclude temporarily 14 poultry plants from a list of exporters, pending inspection of sanitary conditions.

The US also agreed to provide assurances against counterfeit veterinary certificates and the ban will now be lifted by 10 April.

Mr Vershbow said: "With the visit of President Bush just two months away, we need to start working to expand our areas of co-operation now that this obstacle appears to have been removed."

He said: "This dispute has caused some harm to bilateral economic relations - that's undeniable."

Summit difficulties

US poultry sales to Russia, which make up about 40% of all US poultry exports, are worth between $600m and $800m each year.


It has engaged at least five cabinet ministers on my side, and even President George W Bush, who has spoken to President Putin directly about this

US Ambassador Alexander Vershbow

"This dispute has become the number one problem in the US-Russia relations in the past month," Mr Vershbow said.

"It has engaged at least five cabinet ministers on my side, and even President George W Bush, who has spoken to President Putin directly about this."

The ban was one of several difficulties affecting relations ahead of the 23-26 May summit in Moscow and St Petersburg.

Other differences focus on attempts to clinch an accord on slashing strategic nuclear arsenals, with Russia suspicious of US plans to store rather than destroy warheads.

Cut-price US chicken legs flooded the Russian market in the early 1990s during the presidency of George Bush, the current president's father, and were dubbed "Bush legs".

See also:

22 Mar 02 | Business
Russia hints at end to chicken row
11 Mar 02 | Business
Russia warns US over chicken ban
10 Mar 02 | Europe
Russia's US chicken ban in force
08 Mar 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Russia
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories