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Russian ministry suggests banning wood, timber-related exports to EU

According to the statement, the ban will cover unfriendly countries that have been put on the list, including the US and EU countries

MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. Russia’s Industry and Trade Ministry has proposed banning wood and timber-related exports to ‘unfriendly countries’, such as raw materials for the production of paper and plywood, until the end of this year, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday following a meeting by Minister Denis Manturov with the Natural Resources Minister. The Industry and Trade Ministry expects a corresponding government’s decree to be passed in the near future.

"The Russian Industry and Trade Ministry has offered imposing a ban on exports of wood and a number of articles made from it until the end of this year. The ban will cover unfriendly countries that have been put on the list, including the US and EU countries. Birch raw wood (the main raw material for paper production) and chip fuel placed under the ban are critical goods for the European Union," the statement noted.

Russian producers of those materials account for 10-15% of their consumption in Finland, the ministry said, adding that the country will hardly be able to replace those supplies overnight.

"In its turn, the ban on exports of peeler block (raw material for plywood production) amid the EU’s anti-dumping duties on ready plywood from Russia will prevent European producers from boosting capacities of their own enterprises using Russian raw materials," according to the statement.

The ban will "guarantee satisfying the requirements of the domestic market for available raw materials, as well as encourage a further increase in the depth of wood processing inside the country," the federal agency believes.

Russia’s Economic Development Ministry has submitted a respective draft decree to the government, which is expected to be approved in the near future, the Industry and Trade Ministry said.