22/7 Tass 331
STUPINO, Moscow region, July 22 (Itar-Tass) —— Next year’s import quotas have been set at 330,000 tonnes for poultry and 350,000 tonnes for pork, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
The Economic Development Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry had proposed the quotas.
“Other parameters are being discussed at negotiations on the [Russian] accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). However, these parameters may be accepted only when Russia becomes a full WTO member,” Putin said.
“We are also considering other options at the negotiations, but they are possible only in the case of a package agreement, which will provide benefits to our industries,” Putin said. “The new parameters may enter into force if we reach a simultaneous agreement with the United States and the European Union and become a WTO member of full value,” he said.
“Anything is possible. We are flexible enough and we will continue the process, which has been on for more than 15 years, and search for compromises,” Putin said.
“The end result of every negotiations is a compromise, which takes into account the interests of all the negotiating parties to some extent,” he said.
Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said in comment on her working trip to the United States that Russia had made ‘substantial progress’ at the WTO negotiations with the United States in the sphere of terms of the assembly of vehicles in Russia but disagreements over pork import quotas remained an impediment.
“We will accept the proposal of experts of the Agriculture Ministry and the Economic Development Ministry,” Putin said. “We, Russia, will consume about 3.5 million tonnes of poultry this year, but only 3.15 million tonnes will be produced locally. So, the deficit will be about 350,000 tonnes, and that amount will be imported,” he said. In the words of Putin, Russia was importing over one million tonnes of poultry per year a short time ago.
“We will consume 3 million tonnes of pork in 2011, while the domestic production nears 2.4 million tonnes. So, 600,000 to 650,000 tonnes of pork will be imported this year,” he said.
Russia expects a growth of poultry production next year, “and 330,000 tonnes of poultry will be imported, Putin said. “We expect a considerable growth of pork production of 300,000 tonnes, so 350,000 tonnes of pork will be imported,” he said.
“Import duties will stay at 15% for products imported by quotas, while import duties on products imported above that quota will be prohibitive, 75%,” Putin said.