Russian "Obama" ice cream draws US accusations of racism

The chocolate-covered treat features an image of "Obamka" or "Little Obama" on the wrapper...

Russian "Obama" ice cream draws US accusations of racism

Slavitsa/Handout via Reuters

A different kind of cold war is brewing, as the new production of a new chocolate-covered ice cream called "Little Obama" in Russia raises the ire of the US government.

The product features an image of a young black boy on the wrapper (as above) and has served to further chill difficult US-Russian relations this week.

An unnamed US official told Reuters:

"While I haven’t 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".

Despite giving the product the Russian moniker of "Obamka" – with the "ka" acting as a diminutive suffix which can be considered mocking – the company behind it denies it is attempting to make any connection between the product branding and US President Brack Obama.

Slavitsa said in a statement that it was part of range aimed at children featuring "cheerful" characters, and "Obamka" was inspired by a Soviet-era cartoon:

"With different flavors and glazes, the ice cream symbolises the main races of people on our planet.

"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".

Speaking to a local news outlet, the factory's development director Rasilya Mustafina said:

“We just liked the name. It’s so amusing. There are no political undertones. We certainly did not want to offend anybody".

The company does not plan to suspend its production.

Slavitsa happens to be based in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, which hit the news in April after a cafe dedicated to Vladimir Putin opened there.

The cafe boasts restrooms complete with toilet mats bearing the colours of the US flag and toilet paper featuring Obama's face.

The relations between the two nations have been at a post-Cold War low since Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and intervention in Syria.

The Russian state media has regularly been accused of attacking Obama in racist terms.