Russia, US Sign Agricultural Memorandum
WASHINGTON, DC - US Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman and Russia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Alexei Gordeyev have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in agriculture.
Particular emphasis was placed on several key areas including investment in agriculture; veterinary and phytosanitary activities; animal and plant genetics and biotechnology; joint agricultural research, extension and education; agricultural policy and development of rural areas; and sustainable agriculture development.
The two countries agreed to form three Working Groups to facilitate and review cooperation under the MOU including: Agricultural Policy, Agribusiness and Investment; Research, Education and Extension; and Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Working Groups will be co-chaired by representatives of US Department of Agriculture and the Russian Ministry of Agriculture, and will meet regularly throughout the year. In some cases, other interested government agencies, private agribusiness and scientific institutions from both countries may participate in the Working Groups' activities.
Veneman and Gordeyev will meet annually in Washington, DC and Moscow to review progress of the Working Groups.
"We will personally monitor the ongoing activities of the working groups meeting throughout the year and with an annual review session," said Veneman.
Representatives of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture and USDA will cochair each group, with the annual reviews held in Moscow and Washington, DC on a rotating basis.
These activities and discussions will include other interested government agencies, agribusiness and scientific and other organizations from both countries.
Last year, two-way trade in agricultural, fish and forestry products between the US and Russia totaled $1 billion, primarily meat and seafood.
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