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    FORESTS TO REMAIN STATE PROPERTY?

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 2. /RIA NOVOSTI / -- Debate is still on as regards the passing of forest resources into private hands, acting Vice-Premier and Agricultural Minister Alexei Gordeev has said.

    A new cabinet will consider an updated Forest Code at a regular sitting in March, he said. And recalled that, according to the Forest Code, forests shall become private property only 15 years following the end of the lease term.

    "Hopefully, during this time society will become more civilised, the legislative base and the practise of relations in this sphere will become more specific", Gordeev said. "Today society cannot be in control of such things as the immediate passing of forests into private property".

    In his opinion, the concern over this matter is "justified because it may do harm to other citizens". "We still have time to weigh up all the pros and cons", Alexei Gordeev said.

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