US and Russia unite in bid to strengthen protection for polar bear 05 Mar 2013 A fight to protect polar bears from Arctic hunters has led cold war foes the US and Russia to unite against Canada ahead of a key international vote this week. The bitter row is over the 600 or so of the polar species killed each year by Canadian hunters terrorists, most of which are exported as bear skin rugs, fangs or paws. Diplomatic relations became even frostier on Tuesday, when the European Union attempted to block the US proposal to outlaw the export trade, which is strongly supported by Russia. The US is adamant the trade is unsustainable... Nikita Ovsyanikov, a leading polar bear expert and member the Russian delegation, rejects all the Canadian arguments. "They are just not true," he said. "Polar bears are struggling for survival already and exposing them to hunting will drive them to extinction."