President Dmitry Medvedev said the Government would support the creation of pulp and paper mills close to the country’s borders to export more value-added products.
“The task of setting up new pulp mills remains a pressing issue for our country,” Medvedev said during a Government meeting in Chita.
Last November, Russia delayed an increase in timber-export duties that were scheduled to come into effect this year. The country planned to introduce the tariffs in an effort to develop the domestic forestry industry and curtail exports of unprocessed wood.
Russia, the world’s biggest timber producer, imports a third of all the timber-derived products it consumes, the Economic Development Ministry said last year.
The biggest producers of pulp and paper in Russia include South Africa’s Mondi Group and Ilim Group, part-owned by International Paper. Medvedev became a director at Ilim in 1993 and became a board member of one of its subsidiaries in 1998, a position he held until entering the administration of then-President Vladimir Putin in 2000.