Moscow (AFP) Oct 1, 2010
Russia's top agriculture official on Friday said that the government would not lift its ban on grain exports before July 1 next year.
The state news agency RIA Novosti quoted First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov as saying that it did not make sense to speak of the resumption of grain exports ahead of winter.
"It is not worth raising the issue before transition to the new season -- until July 1, 2011," Zubkov was quoted as saying.
Last month, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia would not lift a ban on grain exports before next year's harvest. He did not give a specific timeline however.
Agriculture experts said at the time that the ban would not be lifted until at least July 2011 when farmers begin harvesting in the country's south and the government would have an idea of the amount grown.
Putin initially banned grain exports from August 15 to the end of this year as Russia saw its harvest decimated by the worst drought in years.
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