Petrozavodsk –President Vladimir Putin has called Russian forests a global ecological shieldand has spelt out a number of proposals for forest use and reproduction.
“We accountfor about one fourth of the world forest resources and it would be noexaggeration to say that Russian forests are an ecological shield for the entireplanet,” said Putin at Monday’s (21 July) meeting with timber industryrepresentatives at Vilga, a nursery forest outside Petrozavodsk. Regardingcustoms and tariff regulation as an instrument to use forests more efficiently,Putin said “import duties on highly processed timber could be decreasedand, on the contrary, those on unprocessed timber could be increased”.
He also urged”cutting customs barriers for (forestry) equipment that we do notdomestically produce”.
What isimportant, Putin said, is “to attract investment in the timber industry.Current investments in the basic facilities of woodcutting and timberbusinesses, according to the president, are minimal.”
“Expertsbelieve that the investment process could be by concession and long-term leaseof forest fund plots,” noted the head of state.
Putin believesthat “Russia has every opportunity to become a major quality timberexporter and the industry itself could bring significant profits to the Russianeconomy”.