Chickening out

Published: Sunday 31 March 1996

THE erstwhile -cold war between, the us and Russia seems to have given way to a war over chickens! If a threatened Russian poultry ban takes effect, yankee chickens may no longer be welcome in Russia. Apparently, Russians are holding out the ban threat -as a measure to protect Russian consumers against infected us poultry exports.

The Americans are, however, reading it differently. They say that the Russian stand is nothing but old- fashioned protectio*nism. But "we take this issue very seriously", commented David P Johnson, a White House spokesperson. In fact, the, us depart- ment of agriculture (USDA) is all set to review Russian trade ties on poultry. Last year, us poultry producers exported more than $500 million in frozen poultry to Russia. The exports have caused an alarm among Russian producers who feel that the us is out to destroy the local industry. Meanwhile, officials from the USDA plan to retaliate if the Russian ban comes through by restricting Russian exports to US.

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