Russia may ban 'Bush's Legs'

American chicken legs may soon vanish from the Russian stores. At least, this is what Agriculture Minister Sergey Dankvert said. Russia can ban the import of American poultry at any moment, because the USA has not yet responded to an inquiry about the types of preservatives and antibiotics that are used when growing and processing American chickens.

Ukraine banned the importation of American poultry in January, so now it is Russia’s turn. As the Russian top official asserted, the USA might be using antibiotics that were not known in Russia.

American chicken legs, or “Bush’s legs,” as they are called by Russians, are a common thing in the Russian grocery stores. Russians call them "Bush's Legs" to "honor" George W. Bush's father. It cannot be said that these products are known for their remarkable taste, but the majority of the Russian people like their inexpensive price, although they all understand that cheap products, especially if they are of the American origin, are not likely to be good for your heath. It just happens that, buy buying the cheap products, Russians support American farmers.

It should be mentioned here that there have been other attempts made to ban or restrict the import of “Bush’s legs” in Russia earlier; the imports were actually cut to zero after the financial crisis in August of 1998. That was the time when the Russian producers had an opportunity to expand their markets. However, as soon as the situation became more or less stable, American products flooded the Russian market again. In 1999. someone put forward the idea of increasing the customs duties on the foreign poultry, and that idea was put into effect in 2000. However, the duties soon dropped the measure, and the volume of imported poultry shot up again.

However, the idea to ban the importation of American chicken legs is still 'live and kicking. We take into consideration the fact that the Americans have recently restricted the import of Russian steel. The losses of the Russian metallurgists could be up $1.5 billion dollars during the next two years, while the USA exports its poultry to Russia in the sum of $600 million a year. Therefore, the figures of the possible losses for both Russia and America are somewhat equal. Thus, the loss of the Russian market will cause serious damage to American farmers.

The introduction of limitations (or even a total ban) on the import of American poultry may be only one possibility for Russia to hit back at American interests. As long as Washington does not wish to work with the Russian exporters, then it would be a sin not to use such an opportunity, taking into consideration the fact that many of the poultry farms that produce the chicken legs, are located in Texas, the state George Bush is so passionate about

Residents of Russian cities will have to look for something else instead of American chickens, for something of better quality. If there is not enough money, then you may become a vegetarian. This is very good for your health.

Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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