Russia will insist on its right to use $726m in export subsidies for the products of the food and agricultural industries at the negotiations on its entry to the WTO, head of the Russian Grain Union Arkady Zlochevsky reported to journalists today. He specified that this position was reflected in Russia's offer passed to the WTO commission. WTO member countries are mainly against Russia's using these subsidies, the head of the Union pointed out.
Zlochevsky believes that the use of these subsidies could be based on exemptions from transportation fees. He stressed that the 2003 budget draft suggested allocating over $1bn (about $31.42m) for export subsidies, but this provision had not been adopted so far. If Russia's export subsidies are not used in 2004, the situation could become critical for Russian exports. And if Russia does not start using its right to direct export subsidies before its ascension to the WTO, it could lose this right altogether, Zlochevsky stressed.