August 29, 2008


Russia to ban imports from 19 US chicken plants


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday (August 29, 2008) the country would ban imports from 19 US chicken plants, according to media reports.


The announcement comes a day after Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev announced that the US-Russia Bilateral Meat Agreement signed in 2005 as part of the country's effort to get into the WTO was no longer in Russia's interest. He also warned that imports would be slashed dramatically.


Putin told CNN that 19 U.S. chicken plants will be barred from exporting to Russian because they ignored warnings from Russian inspectors who examined poultry companies last year and that another 29 US plants would receive warnings.


He did not name the plants that would be banned.


The decision is expected to have a significant impact on the US poultry and pork industries as most of them have been depending heavily on the Russian market this year.


Putin said the move had nothing to do with tension over the recent war in Georgia, which the US strongly opposed to.


US analysts say although exports to Russia may decline over the short term, it would rebound as Russia does not yet have the production capacity to wean itself off foreign food imports. 

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