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Cablegate: Vpss to Clarify Requirements for Relisting Pork and Poultry

VZCZCXYZ0019
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #3737 3590624
ZNR UUUUU ZZH(CCY 0011D4A3 MSI1380)
P 240624Z DEC 08 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC PRIORITY 5421
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1346
INFO RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 4701
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 5253

UNCLAS MOSCOW 003737

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (ADD SUBJECT)

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

USDA FAS FOR OCRA/KUYPERS; ONA/SALLYARDS, MURPHY
- OSTA/HAMILTON, BEAN
PASS FSIS/JONES, DUTROW
STATE FOR EUR/RUS STATE PASS USTR FOR CHATTIN, FEILD
BRUSSELS PASS APHIS/FERNANDEZ
VIENNA PASS APHIS/TANAKA
GENEVA FOR USTR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ETRD ECON WTO RS
SUBJECT: VPSS TO CLARIFY REQUIREMENTS FOR RELISTING PORK AND POULTRY
PLANTS

REF A) MOSCOW 3735
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: US Embassy officials met with
the Russian Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary
Surveillance Service (VPSS) to seek clarity on
the Russian response to a work plan for relisting
U.S. pork and poultry plants as proposed by USTR
and USDA during meetings in Moscow on December 17
and 18 (septel). While VPSS did not reject or
accept the U.S. work plan, they committed to
clarifing the Russian position for relisting plants
during a December 29 DCV. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) On December 23, 2008, the Acting
Minister-Counselor for Agricultural Affairs and
Economic Counselor met with the Head of VPSS
Sergey Dankvert, to discuss the U.S. work plan
which was proposed during December 17th and 18th
meetings related to implementation of the U.S.
Russian bilateral Agreement on Plant Inspection
signed on November 19, 2006 in Hanoi(septel). Dankvert
confirmed that he had received the U.S. proposal
and it was clear. He agreed that they could meet
per the work plan and suggested only minor
adjustments to the proposed dates. He promised that
his services would supply the requested
information on the delisting (ref A) by the date
proposed in the plan.

3. (SBU) Embassy officers stressed that it was
the U.S. position that the work plan represented
a way forward so that FSIS would regain the
authority to relist plants per the 2006
agreement. However, Dankvert responded that this
was not the Russian position and that the steps
for relisting plants would be clarified in a DVC
on December 29. He asserted that Russia had
lost confidence in USDA certification and that
trust needed to be rebuilt. He stated that the
U.S. would need to provide all the documents
related to the decisions to certify plants as
eligible to ship to Russia (not just the 38
delisted plants). Dankvert asked that a second
inspection be conducted the week or January 20th
in which Russian inspectors would visit the
farms, the facilities in question, and additional
plants which the U.S. chooses. He also noted
that 10 of the 38 plants had been delisted for a
second time. Note. While Dankvert refrained from
expanding on that comment, per the 2006
agreement if a plant is delisted twice, it may
only be relisted after a joint inspection. End
Note.

4. (SBU) Embassy officers responded that we have
agreed procedures on how plants are to be
relisted. The U.S. was hopeful that we could
clear up misunderstandings through the proposed
plan and requested a positive response to the
work plan by December 29.


5. (SBU) Comment: It is clear that VPSS is
refusing to honor the side letter agreement on
plant inspections signed as part of the U.S.-
Russia WTO market access agreement. VPSS stated
clearly in its December 22, 2008 letter (ref A),
that relisting would only take place after
further joint inspections and farm visits.
Furthermore, Post cautions that VPPS may view the
work plan as a series of meetings rather than
concrete measures to reinstate USDA's ability to
relist facilities. End Comment

BEYRLE

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