The number of privately owned cars in Russia increased in 2002 by 1.2 million year-on-year. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports this was announced today by Deputy Russian Transport Minister Boris Novoseltsev at a meeting held at the transport ministry today. Domestic demand for Russian cars fell in 2002 by 5%. Demand rose however for foreign cars: demand for new cars rose by 25% and secondhand cars by 60%. In the deputy minister's opinion this is because 'Russians are expecting customs reforms, which could make imported cars more expensive.'
Mr Novoseltsev said the fact that 'more and more Russians now own cars is causing a number of problems.' For example there is a growing need for different types of fuel, road construction is needed and ecological damage is an increasing concern. 'These problems can not be solved by the transport ministry alone but must be solved on a national state level,' the minister emphasised.
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