The product, called "Obamka" in Russian, is glazed with chocolate
and its wrapping features an image of a smiling young African boy,
wearing an ear ring and holding an ice cream.
With relations at a post-Cold War low since Russia's 2014 annexation
of Crimea and its military intervention in Syria, Russian state
media and pro-Kremlin activists have often berated and mocked
President Barack Obama in terms that U.S. officials have described
as racist and insulting.
The company that makes the ice cream, Slavitsa, said in a statement
that it was part of a range aimed at children featuring "cheerful"
"With different flavors and glazes, the ice cream symbolizes the
main races of people on our planet," it said, adding that the
picture of the boy had been inspired by a Soviet film.
"Ice cream names need to be memorable. For those with a rich
imagination, various associations might arise, but this product is
for children and is a long way from politics."
A U.S. official, who declined to be named because of the subject's
sensitivity, told Reuters he saw the ice cream as part of a
"While I havenít seen this particular product for sale, we are
disappointed by the media-driven anti-Americanism that has become so
prevalent in Russia over the past few years, particularly when it
takes on a discriminatory or racist bent," the official said.
[to top of second column]
Slavitsa is based in Krasnoyarsk, a Siberian city that hit the
headlines last month after a cafe dedicated to Vladimir Putin opened
there, luring visitors with dozens of pictures of the Russian
The cafe features Obama's face on toilet paper in its restrooms,
while toilet mats bear the colors of the U.S. flag.
(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn and Mark
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