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    Russia to lift grain export ban only after 2011 harvest

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    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia will lift a ban on grain exports after next year's harvest is gathered in, not this year's, the president's press service said on Tuesday.

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia will lift a ban on grain exports after next year's harvest is gathered in, not this year's, the president's press service said on Tuesday.

    Medvedev said on Monday the ban would be lifted when it becomes clear how much has been harvested - a statement that stumped commentators, since Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said earlier the ban will be in place until next year.

    The Kremlin banned grain exports until at least the end of the year following this summer's severe drought and forest fires that destroyed around 10.8 million hectares of crops and reduced harvest forecasts to as low as 60 million tons, 38 percent less that in 2009. The ban has caused a steady rise in grain prices in Russia and around the world.

    MOSCOW, September 7 (RIA Novosti)

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