By 2010 Russia will have replanted 7 million hectares of former forests. As Rosbalt's correspondent reports, this was announced by Deputy Russian Minister for Natural Resources Yuri Shuvayev at a press conference on Wednesday, March 5. He said that every year several hundred hectares of new forest are planted to replace trees that have been felled on lost in forest fires. In 2002, for example, about USD 34 million from the federal budget went towards planting 817 thousand hectares of forest. There are plans to plant 900 thousand hectares of forest in 2003, which will cost about USD 43.9 million. The new trees will mostly be planted on steep slopes, in ravines and gorges.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba believes that "Crimea has already become a" suitcase without a handle” for Russia