Russia lifts ban on US poultry

12-10-2006 | |

As of today, Russia will resume importing poultry and eggs from the US state of Maryland, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

The ban was introduced on 8 September, after outbreaks of a low pathogenic strain of bird flu occurred in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The Russian Veterinary and Phytosanitary Oversight Service introduced the restrictions.
The import bans were considered by some commentators to be a political card in the battle between Russia and the US regarding Russia’s US import quotas and its membership of the WTO.
Russia recently threatened to tighten import barriers on US meat unless an agreement is reached about Russia joining the WTO by October. Unless Russia’s joining the WTO is agreed, Russia will cancel the existing preferences accorded to US in meat and poultry supplies, which could result in US poultry exports to Russia being cut by 40%.
The two countries were expected to sign the final protocol on the eve of the G8 summit, which took place in St Petersburg in the middle of July. But at the last moment the sides failed to reach an agreement on meat and poultry exports. The United States demanded that the exports be allowed freely, without any additional examinations by the Russian veterinary authorities. The Russian side insisted that special veterinary commissions have to check the US producers that want to export their products to Russia before they are given the green light.
According to Gordeyev, poultry exports to Russia bring the US about $1 billion in revenue annually.