A threat from Russia to cut off agricultural imports from the United States isn’t seen as significant for Nebraska.
Sen. Mike Johanns says exports to Russia have declined over the years as Russia has proven to be an unreliable trade partner.
Johanns, the former Secretary of Agriculture, adds the problem could be resolved rather quickly.
“This can be solved tonight, today, this morning, if Putin just says, ‘Look, we’re not going to invade Ukraine. We’re not going to try to take over Crimea. These are sovereign areas that we’re going to leave alone,’” Johanns tells Nebraska Radio Network.
If that were to happen, normalized trading between Russia and the United States could resume, according to Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin made the threat in retaliation to economic sanctions imposed because of Russian aggression toward Ukraine. Putin has ordered Russian authorities to draw up a list of agricultural products from countries that have participated in the economic sanctions against Russia, purportedly banning all products from the United States.
The biggest impact in Nebraska would be the sale of dry beans. Nebraska is a major producer and has a substantial market share in Russia. Other Nebraska farm exports to Russia, such as beef, have declined over the past few years.
Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson doesn’t perceive the threat as substantial.
“It could become a bigger issue, but I guess at this point, I’m not sure that it’s going to be that big of an issue,” Nelson tells Nebraska Radio Network.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]