Russia will sign international agreements on sugar and cocoa at thebeginning of 2003. So our country will reestablish its membership in theInternational Sugar Organization that was lost after the Soviet Union wasdissolved. Domestic sugar producers believe that in this event they willhave access to international information about the sugar market and theywill be able to take part in the elaboration on the rules of sugar trade.The last agreements on sugar and cocoa were signed in Geneva in 1992 and2001 respectively. According to sugar producers, Russia is simply restoringits rights that were lost after the collapse of the USSR. "The USSR was amember of the International Sugar Organization. Currently this organizationincludes about 80 countries", Sergey Mironov, director of the Moscow officeof the United food company pointed out. Negotiations on Russia's accessionto this organization have been carried out for a long time. The head of theISO has visited Russia several times and he is acquainted with practicallyevery large domestic sugar producer, the Rusagro company noted. AlthoughRussia has announced its decision to decrease crude sugar imports and toincrease sugar beet production, the country remains a large crude sugarimporter. Russia imported some 4m tons of crude sugar in the period fromJanuary to August 1, 2002, the Izvestia newspaper reported..