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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

USDA Silent on Aid

WASHINGTON -- Saying the State Department beat them to it, U.S. Agriculture Department officials in Washington decided not to release a statement on the status of Russia's latest food aid request, USDA sources said.

The USDA had planned to distribute a statement announcing that it had offered Russia 500,000 metric tons of U.S. food that would be channeled through private voluntary organizations to the needy in Russia.

But a State Department spokesman discussed the development in a regular briefing with reporters Monday.

USDA officials decided that they had nothing new to add and scrapped the release, sources said. A U.S. Embassy source in Moscow said Tuesday that the United States is waiting to hear back from Russia on the U.S. offer for 500,000 tons of additional aid, the first step in a second food assistance package for the country.