16 Aug 2010 13:17


MOSCOW. Aug 16 (Interfax) - The grain export ban introduced by Russia that came into force on Sunday will last until at least December 31, 2010, First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov told Interfax on Saturday.

The ban is aimed at protecting Russian consumers and to retain stability on the domestic food market, he said.

"We always support our businessmen, including those who operate in foreign markets. We will continue to do that," Zubkov said.

"I have conveyed the Russian government's decision to a number of countries that import Russian grain. The foreign partners said they understood reasons for the decision and confirmed that stability of the domestic food market was a priority of any country. Our contacts with the foreign partners will be preserved," Zubkov said.

"The government is providing comprehensive assistance to farmers suffering from severe drought conditions," he said.

"At the same time, we understand concerns of our exporters. They [the exporters] voiced their concerns at a meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev in Taganrog last week. I can assure you that the ban is temporary," Zubkov said.