News / Europe

Russia Bans US Beef, Ends Drug Trafficking Accord

James Brooke
Since Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin as president last May, Russia has taken a series of anti-American steps. In recent months, his government has ended USAID programs in Russia and banned adoptions of Russian children by American parents. 
 
Russia on Wednesday banned imports of American meat and pulled out of an agreement with the U.S. on law enforcement and drug control.
 
The measures were widely seen as retaliation for a new American law that bans alleged Russian human rights violators from receiving U.S. visas or opening U.S. bank accounts.
 
Recent US - Russia Developments

  • January 30, 2013: Russia pulls out of 2002 anti-drug agreement with the U.S.
  • January 25, 2013: U.S. withdraws from joint rights working group with Russia
  • December 28, 2012: Russian President Vladimir Putin signs law ending U.S. adoptions of Russian children
  • December 14, 2012: U.S. President Barack Obama signs the Magnitsky Act, which penalizes Russian officials accused of human rights violations
  • September 18, 2012: Russia expels USAID
The Russian ban on American meat imports goes into effect in two weeks. They threaten about $500 million worth of U.S. exports of beef and pork.
 
David Satter, a Russia specialist at the Washington-based Hudson Institute, said in Moscow that the move was in reaction to the new U.S. visa ban.
 
"This obviously is a form of retaliation. They want to hurt the American economy," he said. 
 
Russian health authorities said they are banning the American meat because some American beef and pork contain ractopamine, a feed additive that helps make meat leaner.  
 
But Masha Lipman, a political analyst at the Carnegie Center in Moscow, says that Russian health authorities often follow political orders from the Kremlin.
 
"I think it is being driven by the domestic developments in Russia, where anti-Americanism, anti-American propaganda has been used to discredit those civic activists who are defiant of the regime," she said. 
 
The law enforcement accord dates back a decade. It allows U.S. funding for joint U.S.-Russia action in combating drug trafficking, international prostitution, money laundering, terrorism and computer crime.
 
David Satter said, "This is one area of cooperation in which Russia can potentially be useful to the West. Russian organized crime, in particular, circles the world. And no one knows more about it than the Russian Ministry of Interior."
 
U.S.-Russian cooperation is expected to continue in these areas. But Masha Lipman believes the Kremlin’s new step will send a flashing warning signal to Russian officials.
 
"Terminating cooperation in anti-drug activities is extremely unreasonable. I think there is a universal understanding that no country can actually do drug control independently of others," she said. 
 
Wednesday’s steps by Moscow come after the Obama administration announced last Friday that it was pulling out of a joint working group with Russia supporting civil society organizations.
 
Analysts fear that U.S.-Russia relations are falling into a Cold War pattern of tit-for-tat.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lara
January 31, 2013 6:15 AM
That's just the way they are and have always been.


by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
January 30, 2013 9:37 PM
Anonymous! You’re wrong. Never ever and under mo circumstances the Russian Gov hurt themselves . Even in 1941 when Hitler’s army stood 40 km from Moscow, J.Stalin consumed freshly produced milk and poultry. The same with the Gov. Who will be hurt? Millions of ordinary Russians. Because for decades Russia, the largest country in the world, is unable to feed its innumerous population and heavily relies on import. Now inevitably, retail pork prices will rocket to the sky. Even before that the food prices in Russia never were lower than in the UK or the USA. Paradoxically, the more they hurt their people the sooner the people will realize the truth.


by: Anonymous
January 30, 2013 5:00 PM
Funny, the Russian Gov are always hurting themselves with stupid moves.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid