Russia Will Not Import Grain This Year

Russia will not purchase grain from abroad this year, Vice-Premier Aleksei Gordeyev, Minister of Agriculture, said after a routine conference of cabinet members with the president in the Kremlin today. "There will be no centralised imports of fodder or bread grain," Gordeyev stressed. In his words, "the market will react to the demand above all of fodder grain," but this will happen under ordinary commercial schemes. The vice-premier also said that the spring sowing campaign "is proceeding in an organised manner despite certain difficulties" and 25% of farmland has been sown to this day. Gordeyev said he reported this to the president at the conference. Vladimir Putin also listened to Gordeyev's report on social development in rural areas. According to the vice-premier, a federal programme of social development of the rural population is being drafted now and will be submitted to the government in June and put on the discussion agenda of the cabinet. Aleksei Gordeyev expressed the hope that the 2002 budget would allocate more funds on education, culture and health care and higher wages of the rural population.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team