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2010.12.06 | Russian deputy PM: Damage caused by drought at 142 bln rbl

Damage caused by the drought that hit Russia in June–August is estimated at 142 billion rubles, First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov said Monday at a meeting devoted to financial support for the agriculture sector.

He also said that current grain prices stood at between 6,000 rubles and 6,500 rubles per tonne, which he called acceptable. However, some farmers are waiting for next spring to sell their grain, Zubkov said, adding that he disapproved of their decision to wait.

Zubkov also proposed taking extra measures to prevent grain shortages.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the government was prepared to buy grain abroad and sell its grain stocks on the domestic market if grain prices kept rising.