Russia to Significantly Cut Poultry, Pork, and Beef Imports

The Russian government passed a resolution today to make a significant cut on the import of poultry, pork and beef. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced by Russian Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev at a press conference entitled 'Measures to Protect National Agricultural Producers and to Stabilize the Country's Food Market.'

Mr Gordeyev said that these quotas would come into force in three months from now after the publication of corresponding government resolutions. These limitations will mean that meat import is cut by 30%. At the present time imported poultry accounts for 60% of the Russian poultry market. There are also measures being implemented to increase customs control on beef and pork imports. These new measures will result in a 16% cut on beef import and a 22% cut on pork import.

Mr Gordeyev insisted that the resolutions passed today were in no way connected to the fact that some EU countries have imposed quotas on the import of Russian grain. 'This is not an act of revenge, we are simply taking the necessary steps to protect our own agriculture,' the minister said. He added that according to experts there will be a 15-20% increase in national poultry production, a 4-6% increase in beef production and a 7-8% increase in pork production by the end of 2003 as a result of these measures. Moreover, Mr Gordeyev said 'the cut on meat imports will not cause any significant rise in their price. Prices will rise in line with inflation and seasonal expectations.'

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