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    Russia annually suffers $180 million damage from illegal tree felling

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    MOSCOW, June 3 (RIA Novosti) - The damage from illegal tree felling in Russia comes up to 5 billion rubles (some $180 million) annually, the Russian Natural Resources Ministry said on Friday.

    "Together with Brazil, Cameroon, Gabon, Indonesia and Malaysia, Russia is among the leaders in illegal tree felling," the ministry said.

    Since 1992 the annual volume of tree felling has almost doubled to reach 700,000 cubic meters and the damage inflicted on forestry has come up to % billion rubles annually, the ministry said.

    According to the ministry, illegal felling accounts for 89% of violations of the Russian forest legislation, with only 10% of cases of illegal use of the forest resources reaching the court.

    Illegal felling and other key problems of forest use will be considered in Moscow on June 6-8 at an international intergovernmental conference. It will officially launch the European-North Asian ministerial negotiations on the problems of law enforcement and management in the forest sector.

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