Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade: It is unrealistic to ban the export of timber to China
The Russian Federation’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Jennis Manturov, told the Russian news agency (Russian News Agency) on 19 that a total ban on the export of timber to China is meaningless at present.
Russia’s Minister of Natural Resources, Dmitry Kobelkin, announced last week that if Beijing did not take part in resolving the problem of deforestation in Russia, Russia might impose a total ban on timber exports to China. He also indicated that the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources was seriously exploring solutions with relevant Chinese departments. In addition, Cobelkin said he personally asked Chinese law enforcement authorities to join in the fight against deforestation.
Accordingly, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade, Jennis Manturov, said: “At present, China is an important economic and trade partner of Russia, and both sides are united in their desire to expand bilateral trade volume. Therefore, it is unrealistic to impose restrictions on the import and export of both countries, including on the import and export of forest products, if necessary.”
Manturov also said that he had learned Kobelkin’s point of view and understood his concern about the rational use of national forest resources, but did not think that the issue of a total ban on timber exports to China needed to be answered immediately. The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade explained that deforestation is an internal problem in Russia, which requires the joint attention and concerted efforts of local governments and law enforcement agencies.
Manturov said that in recent years, thanks to the stimulation of domestic production, Russia’s log export share has steadily declined year by year, and its current share is no more than 9%. In addition, he said: “According to international rules, Russia cannot impose an export ban on a particular country. If we impose restrictions on any country, the other side can also take counter-measures in accordance with WTO rules.
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