Russia blocks yogurt bound for US Olympic athletes

5,000 containers of Chobani yogurt bound for U.S. Olympic athletes are stuck in New Jersey.
Posted By Evan Bleier  |  Updated Feb. 6, 2014 at 11:15 AM
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SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Instead of fighting about Edward Snowden's asylum or disarming Syria, Russia and the United States have found a new thing to battle about -- Greek yogurt.

The Russian government has blocked a shipment of 5,000 containers of Chobani yogurt bound for U.S. Olympic athletes competing at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Instead of being delivered to Russia, the yogurt is sitting in a cold storage locker at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

According to Russia, the yogurt cannot enter the country because the U.S. has not turned in the proper paperwork. “I’d like to think that yogurt could have diplomatic immunity,” Chobani chief marketing officer Peter McGuinness told the New York Times. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York is getting involved.

“With the Sochi Olympic Games starting at the end of this week, there is simply no time to waste in getting our Olympic athletes a nutritious and delicious food -- Chobani Greek Yogurt,” Sen. Schumer said in a release.

“Unfortunately, this protein-packed, New York-made food has met a serious roadblock in the Russian Government, thanks to an unreasonable customs certificate, and they will not allow the yogurt into the country. Not only is this nutritious food only intended for U.S. citizens, but our own food safety experts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is willing to back the food’s contents, so there is no acceptable holdup in getting this food to our athletes and ensuring that Chobani does not miss out on a critical investment.”

At this point, it’s unclear if American athletes will be able to get their yogurt fix.

“We are a lawful country,” said Yevgeniy Khorishko, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Washington. “You should follow the rules.”

[New York Times] []

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