The government commission on protective measures in foreign trade and customs and tariff policy, meeting on Monday, decided to repeal the export duty on silver.
The duty at present is 6.5 per cent.
The commission's decision is to be approved before long by a Russian government edict, which will come into force a month after its promulgation.
Gennady Yezhov, press-secretary of Vice-Premier Alexei Kudrin, told journalists that silver from Russia was mainly exported to Customs Union countries, where the duty does not apply. In that way, up to 90 per cent of silver is exported from Russia duty-free.
The proven reserves of silver in Russia are now a lot greater than in other countries. The aggregate market share of explored resources of major producers of this metal -- the US, Canada, Mexico and Australia -- is 40 per cent, with the bulk belonging to Russia. Demand for silver on the world market keeps growing all the time, but prices have been falling over the past few years.