Becoming self-sufficient in pork production is a clear target for Russian officials, and the plans to that end are underway. However, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service officials point out that   the rate at which Russia is cutting pork imports is well ahead of the country’s ability to increase its production.

An attaché report posted late last week said Russian pork production in 2010 will increase only 1.1 percent to 2.225 million metric tons while imports will drop 4.1 percent to 810,000 metric tons.

"Attaining self-sufficiency through import substitution is the goal of the [Russian Federation], but pork production failed to offset the reduced quota in 2009, driving prices slightly higher and consumption lower," researchers wrote in the report.

Just this past February, Russian officials announced a goal to reach 85 percent self-sufficiency in total meat and poultry production for the country by 2020. Those plans have since been stepped up to achieve that goal within three to five years. The big question is whether that’s even remotely attainable.

Russia has already implemented steep cuts in pork and poultry imports.

According to FAS researchers meat and poultry prices in Russia began to stabilize in 2009, but "they remain fragile" in 2010 as supplies hinge largely on the outcome of the country's ban on imports of poultry treated with chlorine and meeting the government's production targets.