Russia can temporarily restrict lumber export to China, natural resources minister warns

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MOSCOW, November 7. /TASS/. Russia can temporarily restrict lumber exports to China due to the issues of forest reproduction and destruction, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dmitry Kobylkin said during the ‘government hour’ at the Federation Council (upper house of parliament) on Wednesday.

“China is the main market of lumber exports (from Russia). I told the (Chinese) minister that if we do not bring matters under control in the near future, particularly from the Chinese side, we will completely suspend lumber exports to China,” he said. “I am not saying that it should be done but it probably has to be done for a certain period of time,” Kobylkin told Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko answering the question when the problem of illegal logging and export would be solved in Russia.

According to the minister, the construction of seed-production facilities in Russia at China’s expense is one of the ways to solve the problem. “I told Chinese colleagues – let’s build 10-20 seed-production facilities on the Russian territory using your money. If you need forest, make sure it is reproduced,” he explained.

“The answer is not accepted,” Matviyenko said. “We are expecting a program, any program of strict, serious measures. Believe me, neither China nor anyone will help us if we do not bring matters under control,” she stressed.

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