According to the information from the Russian Ministry of Agriculture, exports of Russian grain in 2002-2003 might grow almost threefold, to the level of 12-14 million tons. Presently the country exports about 5 million tons of grain, but taking into account the record harvest in the current year, 87 million tons, the government decided to increase volume of exports.
Presently major buyers of Russian grain are Italy, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco. The Ministry assumes that in 2003 shipments of Russian grain to Egypt and Saudi Arabia will be significantly increased. On Monday vice-premier Aleksei Gordeyev went on a working visit to Egypt and increase of grain shipments into that country was named as the major objective of the visit.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his speech dedicated to the Day of the Russian Navy, recalled the threats that Russia is currently facing from a number of countries.