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    MERGER OF AGRICULTURE MINISTRY AND STATE FISHERIES COMMITTEE POSSIBLE

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    MOSCOW, March 2, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russia's acting Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev has spoken in favour of setting up a separate ministry to deal with land relations.

    "Land relations are a weak link in this country, they are the concern of too many ministries and departments," he said in an interview with journalists on Tuesday.

    In Gordeyev's opinion, more effective control calls for concentrating all land relations within one structure.

    Besides, the acting vice-premier did not rule out a possible merger of the Ministry of Agriculture and Russia's State Committee for Fisheries. In his judgement, this will be possible if the role of the minister and the ministry is raised. "It is all a matter of balancing," Gordeyev said.

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