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Diplomacy in Action

Joint Report: 2009-2010 Results of the U.S.-Russia Presidential Commission: Agriculture

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs

[Click for Full Report: HTML Version | PDF Version | Russian Text]

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack and
Russian Federation Minister of Agriculture Elena Skrynnik

Inter-Agency Participants:



Department of Agriculture (USDA)

U.S. Forest Service (USFS)

National Security Council

U.S. Department of State

Food and Drug Administration, HHS

Department of Interior

U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)

U.S. Agency for International Development

Ministry of Agriculture

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Federal Forestry Agency (RFFA)

Dates Group Convened:

December 2009:

Annual USFS – RFFA Working Group Meeting held in Washington.

December 2009:

Video conference between Russia’s Deputy Agriculture Minister Korolyov and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Michener.


  • Agricultural Cooperation: In September 2009, members of Russia’s Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service (VPSS), headed by its Chief Veterinary Officer, visited Washington D.C. In December 2009, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Russia’s VPSS prepared and came to an agreement on a veterinary certificate for the export of sheep and goats from the United States to Russia. In March 2010 an agreement on a new veterinary certificate for pork and pork by-products exported from the United States to Russia was reached between Russia’s VPSS and the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service in accordance with Russian veterinary and sanitary requirements. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service in collaboration with USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service also developed an Export Verification program whose U.S. participants are allowed to export pork products to the Russian market.

  • Agricultural Exchanges: In September-October 2009, with support of the Agriculture Working Group, the Holstein Cattle Association USA hosted a group of Russian farmers on the margins of the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin to share information on U.S. dairy herd management. In December 2009, Livestock Genetics Export Inc. provided Russian buyers with a tour through Colorado and Wyoming to learn about U.S. methods of beef herd management. A Letter of Intent containing proposals for further cooperation and sales with Russian companies is expected to be finalized at Holstein’s annual meeting in June 2010 in Minnesota.

  • Forestry: In December 2009, at a meeting in Washington D.C., the USFS and RFFA signed a renewed Protocol of Intent, which provides a framework for bilateral cooperation on forest management, including protection from wildfire, enhancing regulation to meet market requirements, and climate change. Since July 2009, the USFS and RFFA have supported joint-training of U.S. and Russian experts in forest fire prevention and suppression, research on wildfire behavior and atmospheric emissions, evaluation of risk from forest pests, and the investigation of such important issues as forest certification and the role of forests in global climate change. In June 2010, USFS and USAID specialists will participate in an international conference on trans-boundary wildfire management sponsored by RFFA and held in Irkutsk, Russia. In June 2010, USFS and RFFA will sign a work plan outlining concrete collaborative activities to take place in 2010-2012. Priority topics of cooperation are climate change and its consequences for forest management, enhancing regulation to meet market requirements, fire suppression, inventory and monitoring, and forest certification.

Agenda for Future:

  • Chairs Secretary Vilsack and Minister Skrynnik will hold a meeting of the full Working Group.

  • USDA and the Ministry of Agriculture will seek to identify sources of funding to expand cooperation on aquaculture and fish diseases.

  • The U.S. Forest Service and Russian Federal Forestry Agency will develop workshops that address the areas of cooperation (climate change, enhancing regulation to meet market requirements, fire suppression, inventory and monitoring, and forest certification) agreed upon in the work plan.

  • The U.S. Government will host representatives from the Russian Federal and Regional Governments for a three-week program in August in the United States focusing on national food assistance and social nutrition programs.

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