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Montana Unfazed by Russian Sanctions, May Benefit the State

Vladamir Putin
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This week the country of Russia imposed unilateral sanctions on some U.S. goods including vegetables, beef, milk and other agricultural products.

Though the announcement did not seem to faze Montana Department of Agriculture spokesman Jayson O’Neil, he did express some concern about a possible future expansion of the sanctions into the genetics or live animal market.

“We’re going to be looking to see if there’s live animals because there is some market possibilities with that,” O’Neil said. “Where the market force is right now, Montana is in a strong position. Domestic beef markets are really, really strong record numbers, so that’s a good sign that we’re not having to trade our beef or even send our live animals over there.”

O’Neil said the sanctions may actually bring more money to Montana in the long run.

“You know, in Montana, we are primarily kind of a wheat producer when actually Russia is kind of a competitor in the Ukraine area—actually it’s kind of the breadbasket of that region,” O’Neil said. “As far as them being a competitor to wheat, there’s a possibility in the long term with the sanctions on Russia, we might have stronger wheat prices going into the fall.”

O’Neil indicated that things were looking up for Montana and the sanctions were unlikely to have a big negative impact. “Don’t worry, you can’t see Russia from here,” O’Neil said.

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