25 Oct 2009 18:37

Moratorium on export duties on round timber likely to be prolonged

ST. PETERSBURG. Oct 25 (Interfax) - The moratorium on raising export duties on raw timber is likely to be prolonged for 2011 but it won't remain in effect endlessly, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said.

"We have prolonged the moratorium for one year and the decision is likely to remain in force in 2011 as well," he said at a press conference after talks with his Finnish counterpart.

However, "the moratorium cannot last forever," Putin said.

Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen was satisfied with Russia deciding to introduce a moratorium on raising export duties on round timber for two years. In his opinion, this decision and the plans of the Russian government to extend the list of timber items on which a zero export duty is levied will help the timber industries of Russia and Finland to recover from the crisis fast and to revive mutual trade.

In his turn Putin said that the decision on the moratorium was largely prompted by the situation on the market, hence the moratorium will not last forever.

"We have made the strategic choice in favor of the accelerated development of the Russian woodworking industry," he said. Therefore he described as the most promising situation in which Finnish companies would be coming to the Russian market with their investments and technologies and opening their own facilities in Russia with a high degree of processing.