RUSSIA/USA: Long-running poultry row finally resolved
The US has resolved its long-running dispute with Russia over health and safety standards in US poultry plants, US Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman has said.
"We are pleased to have resolved the technical issues that have impeded our poultry trade," Veneman said, following two days of talks with Russian Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev.
"This visit highlighted the importance that both the United States and Russia place on resolving our differences on trade in poultry. The Russian Ministry of Agriculture and USDA teams are now inspecting all US poultry plants. Those inspections are being conducted with the mutual understanding that plants using diverse approaches to separation of work zones and to temporary refrigerated storage of product meet the Russian Federation's standards for safety and quality. We anticipate these inspections and determinations can be completed by July 1 and without disruption of trade," Veneman said.
Russia banned imports of US poultry last year, citing concerns over veterinary and health procedures. US officials insisted that its poultry were safe and accused Moscow of effectively imposing trade barriers. The US recently imposed tougher veterinary certificates, prompting Russia to provisionally lift the ban.
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