Talks between Russia and the U.S. concerning the suspension, effective March 10, of the imports of American poultry have begun today at the Russian Ministry of Agriculture. The Russian Delegation at the talks is headed by Sergei Dankvert, the First Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Russia, and includes Mikhail Kravchuk, the head of the Ministry's Veterinary Department and a number of technical personnel. The U.S. is represented by Alexander Vershbow, the American Ambassador in Moscow, and various personnel from the U.S Secretariat on Agriculture, Drug and Food Administration and other agencies controlling the quality of foods. The press service of the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia believes the duration of the talks will exclusively depends on the stance the Americans are going to assume. The outcome and details of the closed-door talks are expected to be made public at a later time.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia, the imports of poultry from the U.S. were suspended due to the repeated violations by the American party of Russia's sanitary requirements. These included the absence of import licences and/or veterinary certificates, incorrect markings or the absence of the results of testing for the presence of salmonellas.