15:13 GMT +321 September 2018
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    Russia to keep imported meat quotas until 2009

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    MOSCOW, June 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will keep its right to set quotas on poultry, beef and pork imports until 2009, the country's chief negotiator with the World Trade Organization (WTO) said Thursday in the lower chamber of parliament.

    Speaking at a session of the State Duma's committee for agrarian issues,

    Maxim Medvedkov said that quotas would remain unchanged. But he added that quotas would be raised by 2%, if Russia joined the WTO.

    "This is the price of our partners' consent to keep the quotas," Medvedkov said. "This figure is half of the expected minimum growth in the consumption of the relevant products in Russia."

    According to Gennady Kulik, the chairman of the committee, Russia needs to agree with the WTO on a quota of 5 million metric tons of grain supplies to the European Union during the transitional period.

    "This would be strong support for Russia from the WTO to make producers confident that they can sell grain to Europe, if domestic grain sales fail," Kulik said.

    At the same time, Russia has no voting rights today and will only be able to set terms after it joins the organization.

    Medvedkov also said that Russia was seeking $9.6 billion in state support for agriculture when it joins to the WTO.

    He added that this was three times larger than the sums currently allocated to support domestic agriculture.

    But he said that the negotiations on state support for agriculture had not yet made any real progress.

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