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    RUSSIA'S AGRICULTURE MINISTER: EU EXPANSION WILL NEGATIVELY EFFECT RUSSIA'S EXPORT

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    BERLIN, January 17. /RIA Novosti correspondent Alexander Polotsky/. The expansion of the European Union will have a negative effect on a large number of Russian exports, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Alexander Gordeyev said in Berlin speaking Saturday at the international East-West agrarian forum. The subject discussed at the forum is "World Trade - European Union's Expansion Prospects and Its New Neighbors.

    According to Gordeyev, EU expansion will affect Russia exporters of farm produce in the first place.

    Quoting of grain deliveries to the EU internal market, introduced on January 1, 2003, will most likely be extended to new EU members," the Russian minister explained.

    It is supposed in Russia, he said, that the EU does not intend to increase the general quota.

    "In the past two years the average annual export of Russian grain to the European Union comprising 15 countries and the ten new member states was 2.2 million tons," Gordeyev stated.

    "We are worried by the fate of our export to the countries that will become EU members on May 1and to which the quota does not extend yet," he said.

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