Gold production in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) grew by 116.1 percent to 1,891 kilograms in the first quarter of 2003, compared to the corresponding period of last year, the Union of Russian gold producers told RBC.
According to Vladimir Fyodorov, the Deputy Industry Minister of the republic, Yakutia is planning to produce more than 18 tons of gold in 2003. Last year gold production in the republic amounted to 16.9 tons. By 2006 gold production in Yakutia is expected to exceed 26 tons.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba believes that "Crimea has already become a" suitcase without a handle” for Russia