Russia Lifts Pork Import Bans

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Eighteen U. S. pork plants will be able to resume shipments to Russia within days after Moscow lifted a ban that had closed the United States’ fifth-largest export market for several months, officials said March 26.

Russia’s farm produce watchdog is preparing to allow imports from even more U. S. suppliers in the near future, officials from the body said, after Washington agreed its supplies would be free of an antibiotic that violated Moscow’s food safety rules. Russia and the United States have been involved in several disputes over meat supplies in recent years.

Russia’s concerns centred on the presence of the antibiotic oxytetracycline, and Moscow has taken a tough line with Washington on food safety.

Some U. S. officials have said the bans could be politically motivated or linked to Russia’s plans to increase its self-sufficiency in pork and poultry meat.

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