Russian Deputy Prime Minister to Fly to USA To Settle U.S. Chicken Meat Import Issue

The main importers of U.S. chicken meat to Russia will be those companies, which meet the appropriate Russian veterinary requirements, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Gordeyev said.

On Wednesday, April 30 he will pay a 10-day official working visit to the USA and Canada where he will discuss a number of issues; in particular, whether U.S. importers of chicken meat meet the requirements of the Russian sanitary legislation.

Mr. Gordeyev recalled that the deadline for U.S. importers to bring everything into line with the legislation was June 1, 2003. "We believe that at present the majority of importers of chicken meat meet the requirements of the Russian Federation and veterinarians had already checked most poultry farms, Alexei Gordeyev said.

"The U.S. party insists that the USA has different standards but we require that U.S. products correspond to the Russian legislation. I believe that our U.S. partners will take it as a normal sovereign right of a state," Mr. Gordeyev reported. However, he did not rule out that the deadline for those who had not managed to bring everything in line could be put off.

In March 2002, Russia decided to reduce chicken meat import from the USA as it did not meet many Russian veterinary requirements, in particular, U.S. producers used more antibiotics in chicken meat production. On September 15, 2002 Russia adopted a new veterinary certificate. The Russian Government set a deadline for U.S. producers till June 1, 2003 so that they could bring their quality in line with Russian standards.

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