Why Chocolate Is Bargaining Chip In Ukraine-Russia Conflict

from npr.org: In the political battle between Ukraine and Russia, one of the biggest pawns is chocolate. That’s because the current front-runner in Ukraine’s presidential race is Petro Poroshenko, known as “the Chocolate King.” His billion-dollar empire was founded on candy factories. Poroshenko’s chocolate became a bargaining chip in the confrontation with Russia last July, as Ukraine was moving toward a landmark trade agreement with the European Union. Russia banned his company’s chocolate for alleged quality and safety violations, including a claim that the confection contained a potentially carcinogenic additive called benzopyrene. Poroshenko’s company, Roshen, rejected the allegations, pointing out that neither Russia, Ukraine nor the European Union has regulations on benzopyrene, an organic compound found in wood smoke and burnt food products, such as dark-roasted coffee. Russia added insult to injury by claiming that Roshen chocolate had “inadequate fat content” and problems with “taste and smell.”

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