After nearly two decades of negotiations, Russia finally joined the World Trade Organization in August.
The understanding was that foreign companies could do more business with Russia since WTO rules are meant to create a level playing field for international trade.
Russia would, therefore, be forced to avoid enacting certain protectionist measures.
Instead, the Kremlin got creative and recently banned imports of American beef, pork and poultry products.
Citing concern over the feed additive ractopamine, Russia's Chief Sanitary Inspector Gennady Onishchenko said the ban would be long term.
"We have scientific proof collected into 13 clauses that ractopamine is unsafe," he said. "Additional research is necessary on the safety of [ractopamine] and it is the U.S. who should conduct it."
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk fired back with a joint statement on Feb. 11.
"The United States is very disappointed that Russia has taken action to suspend all imports of U.S. meat, which is produced to the highest safety standards in the world," they said. "Russia has disregarded the extensive and expert scientific studies conducted by the international food safety standards body, the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), which has repeatedly concluded that animal feed containing the additive ractopamine is completely safe for livestock and for humans that consume their meat."
Russian websites and blogs indicate the country still stands by the ban and refuses to acknowledge that protectionist measures might be a part of the decision.