MOSCOW, December 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged support for agricultural producers after Russia joined the World Trade Organization.
“Of course, we will not abandon our agricultural producers who found themselves in a difficult situation in connection with droughts and floods in the Far East and, we must say it directly, in connection with Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization, which puts some our agricultural sectors in a rather difficult situation, intensifying competitive fight on our own market,” the president said at a forum of the All-Russia Popular Front on Thursday.
Putin said the amount of imports grew after Russia had joined the WTO. “Although we have done a lot in poultry breeding, not all problems have been solved there,” he stated. There were also problems in the dairy sector, in agricultural engineering, etc, Putin said, adding, however, that Russia had protection mechanisms within the WTO framework.
“Let me remind you that until this year, we have the right to subsidize our economy at the amount of nine billion dollars. Then it will be 4.5 billion dollars and we will have to gradually reduce this amount,” he said. “But this is a good amount as a safety cushion,” Putin added.
Putin also said that 200 billion rubles were directed this year towards support for the agricultural sector. However, even this big sum was not enough, he admitted. “Although you know that decisions were made connected with loan extension and the reduction of rates and payments on agricultural leasing,” he continued.
As for that sum of subsidies and support, Putin stressed that it was important to have them regularly. “At least governors are saying this to me. Representatives of big agricultural business also tell me from regions that there are problems with getting financial support regularly,” he stated.
“But this does not have a critical nature. We will work on that seriously, and I will certainly send such a signal to the government,” Putin pledged.