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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Minister Takes Hard Line on U.S. Poultry

Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev said Monday that Russia will not compromise over its imports of U.S. poultry, which will continue from August only if Washington accepts all of Moscow's safety demands.

"I don't think we have to come to terms," Gordeyev told Vedomosti. "In accordance with our legislation and sanitary and hygienic standards, we just have to present our demands to American producers and suppliers, who must accept and observe these demands."

An Agriculture Ministry spokesman said Friday that Russia would reimpose a ban on U.S. poultry imports from Aug. 1 if Washington failed to produce a new veterinary certificate corresponding to Russian safety standards.

Russia is the largest buyer of U.S. poultry and its purchases were worth $640 million in 2001. But it banned imports of U.S. poultry meat from March 20 to April 15 citing health concerns.

The lifting of the ban was subject to conditions, including elaboration of a new U.S. veterinary certificate before June 30.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow did not have an immediate comment on Gordeyev's statement.

"Negotiations are continuing, there are a number of issues that have to be resolved, and we are working on it," an embassy spokesman said, adding that U.S. Undersecretary of Agriculture J.B. Penn was expected to meet Gordeyev later Monday to discuss the poultry imports issue.