ALROSA's annual diamond sales will reach at least $1.5 billion and become a steady source of public income, said Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin on Monday during a working trip to Yakutia, an autonomous republic in Eastern Russia. Since 1995, the volume of funds contributed by ALROSA to the federal and republican budgets has grown by 6.5 and 8.5 times respectively, announced Kudrin. A new agreement on cooperation between ALROSA and De Beers will be signed on Monday, this time without the government participating. "This is a serious step towards liberalization of the diamond market," said Kudrin. "The agreement will secure a steady, predictable volume of diamond sales and diamond prices. Besides, the income will not depend on dozens of different factors as it does in the oil sphere." The finance minister thinks the signing of the document is just as important internationally. "There aren't that many spheres where Russia determines the world market tendency," he noted. "But it does influence the sphere of diamond production."
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