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On sale in Russia - `Monkey Obama` chopping boards

The product features a family of monkeys, with an image of Obama`s face superimposed onto that of the smallest primate.

On sale in Russia - `Monkey Obama` chopping boards
US President Barack Obama

Moscow: An upscale Russian store chain apologised on Thursday for selling chopping boards with an image of US President Barack Obama as a monkey, after the US embassy reacted furiously.

The product features a family of monkeys, with an image of Obama`s face superimposed onto that of the smallest primate.

The store chain on Thursday announced it had pulled the item from its shelves, saying it had not been aware of Obama`s image.

"Sales of the chopping boards have been stopped," Valentina Moiseyeva, a spokeswoman for the Bakhetle supermarket chain, TASS agency reported.

"We are sorry that such product was on our store shelves. For us it is unacceptable that a store is used as a place for political provocation," Moiseyeva said, adding that the supermarket had lodged a formal complaint against the boards` supplier.

The board is styled as a calendar for 2016, the year of the monkey according to the Chinese zodiac.

The Bakhetle chain is based in Russia`s traditionally Muslim region of Tatarstan but has stores throughout the country.

"Disgusting to see that such blatant racism has a place on Russian store shelves," Will Stevens, the spokesman for the US Embassy in Moscow, wrote on Twitter.

Stevens later posted a picture of the chain`s apologetic comment, adding in a tweet: "Thank you to colleagues in Bakhetle for issuing an apology... We appreciate this."

The scandal broke out after one customer purchased the chopping board in a store in Tatarstan`s main city Kazan and took pictures that went viral.

Racist outbursts against Obama -- who is often demonised and ridiculed by pro-Kremlin figures -- have grown common in Russia in recent years, even from public figures.

In 2013 Irina Rodnina, a former Olympic gold medallist and now a lawmaker with majority party United Russia, posted a collage on Twitter showing Barack and Michelle Obama looking at a banana.

She deleted the image later and claimed her account had been hacked.

From Zee News

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