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US Ambassador Hits Back at Protectionists

by 5m Editor
22 October 2008, at 10:25am

RUSSIA - The US Ambassador says the ban on import of US meat has more to do with protecting domestic producers than health and safety issues.

The Moscow Times reports that Russian protectionists are to blame for recent curbs on US poultry imports, according to US Ambassador John Beyrle in an interview with Interfax.

"I remember [former US Secretary of State] Colin Powell once said it is better to argue about chicken legs than about nuclear missiles. But nonetheless, it does seem periodically that the issue of meat and chicken imports from the US tends to come up at a time when protectionist circles in Russia are feeling stronger," Mr Beyrle said.

Russia, the biggest market for US poultry, banned imports from 19 US producers in September on health and safety grounds.

"American beef and chicken is safe, it undergoes very rigorous inspections that have been agreed as part of the process with Russia," added Mr Beyrle.

5m Editor