Swedes Want Timber They Buy from Russia to Be Felled Legally

Olga Lopina, the Director of the project 'To Make Russian-Swedish Lumber Trade Transparent', said Swedish companies wanted Russia's legally felled timber. In 2001, Sweden imported from Russia about 3 million cubic metres of timber, which made her the second largest buyer of Russia's wood after Finland. After processing, wood is exported from Sweden to Europe, for instance to Germany. Western consumers are extremely concerned about the legality of the origin of timber they purchase and would like to make sure their transactions stay within the law. Mrs. Lopina said the research done jointly by Russia and the Swedish section of the World Wild Nature Foundation identified 10 Russian companies, each having exported over $ 1.5 million worth of timber in 2001. These exporters, including Lemo Agency AB, Telemark Wood AS, Thomesto Terminal and others, account for about 75% of all timber that goes to Sweden. Yet the activities of some of them still remain far from transparent. She continued saying, 'We intend to create a database and an Internet site to inform consumers of our findings concerning the activities of wood exporters. Unless these activities become fully transparent, Western consumers may just back away'.

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