The relationship between the United States and Russia has been strained as of late.
But of all the things the two countries could be skirmishing over — the Syrian conflict, arms control, human rights — who would ever guess the latest would be the delivery of Greek yogurt to the American athletes competing at the Winter Olympics in Russia?
The Russian government is apparently blocking a shipment of Chobani yogurt produced in Upstate New York bound for the U.S. Olympics team, because, claims the Russian Government, the company has not submitted the proper paperwork, reports The New York Times.
However, the U.S. says the certification required by the Russians would be impossible to attain. So now 5,000 containers of yogurt are sitting in limbo in cold storage near Newark Liberty International Airport.
The yogurt industry has become a favorite for many of the state’s leading elected officials and a booming business in upstate New York, a place that does not have many booming businesses.
The Obama administration has intervened, and Senators Charles E. Schumer has gotten involved, adding that when it comes to yogurt, “the Russian authorities should get past ‘nyet.’ ”
“We are a lawful country,” said Yevgeniy Khorishko, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Washington. “You should follow the rules.”