Economy Minister on EU restrictions for Russian grain supplies

Russia is not going to retort the introduction of a quota for Russian grain supplies to the EU, which considerably limits Russian exports, Russian Economy Minister German Gref stated at an Internet press conference today. In his opinion, such measures are necessary when it concerns the protection of national interests. "In this situation, it is necessary to introduce a special system of measures; however, they will not be 'adequate' or 'retaliatory'," Gref believes.

Decisions on supporting Russian agriculture in the new situation with Russian-EU trade relations will be discussed in the near future, the Minister reported. Representatives of the Economy Ministry confirmed that the quota for Russian grain imports discussed with the European Commission, was 600,000 tons. Last agricultural year (2001-2002), Russia supplied 1.5 million tons of grain to the EU. Russia is satisfied neither with the quota amount nor with its mechanism. In the opinion of the Ministry representatives, the EU has referred to an agreement with the WTO inconsistently. Russia is to continue negotiations with the EU on this matter in January 2003.

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