The Russian government has blocked a shipment of Chobani Greek yogurt intended for the U.S. Olympic delegation from entering the country, and it has set off a minor political firestorm.
The New York Times reports that elected officials from New York, where Chobani is made, have been asking the Russian ambassador for help in clearing up the problem, saying the Rosselkhoznadzor -- the Russian agency which has control over the import of yogurt and other goods -- is being unreasonable. The White House has even stepped in, to see if they could obtain a "special dispensation" for the shipment.
The Russian government is maintaining its position that Chobani failed to obtain the proper licenses to send their product to their country, with one Russian diplomat saying of the yogurt maker "We are a lawful country, you should follow the rules.”
Chobani is the official yogurt of the U.S. Olympic team and had provided athletes with their product during training and hopes to continue to do so during the Games.
For now, the shipment of 5,000 containers of Chobani yogurt is waiting in cold storage, while American officials try to get the protein-rich snack to athletes in time for the games.
They could just shoot across the Black Sea and get some straight from Greece, but I suppose it is a matter of principle at this point. [NYT]