The structure of Russian exports is inadequate to the scientific, technical and industrial potential of the country, Russian Industry and Science Minister Ilya Klebanov declared today.
Speaking at an international round-table meeting, devoted to support for Russian exports and foreign investments in Russia, he pointed out that during some years, products of the fuel and energy industry and the metal industry made up about 70% of the total value of exports. In 2002 the proportion of products by the fuel and energy industry in exports reached 56%, the corresponding figure for the ferrous and non-ferrous metal industry was 15%, whereas the share of machines and equipment was 7.7%; the corresponding figure for the chemical industry was 6.5%, and the share of the timber industry and the pulp and paper industry together reached 4.9%. At the same time the volume of imports of machines, equipment, means of transport and other hi-tech products has continued to grow.
As it was reported earlier with reference to a preliminary report by the State Customs Committee, Russia's foreign trade turnover reached $155bn in 2002. The foreign trade surplus reached $50bn. Russian exports increased by 5% in 2002, while imports were up 16%.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.