Russia has no plans to import grain this year: official

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Russia, hit by a record drought which has destroyed a quarter of its crops, has no plans to import grains this year, the agriculture ministry said Friday, rejecting reports it would so.

"We do not plan to import grains," agriculture ministry spokesman Oleg Aksenov said.

On Thursday, the Vedomosti daily, citing a source close to the top of the agriculture ministry, said Russia could import at least five million tonnes of grain, mainly from Kazakhstan.

The report pushed grain prices sharply higher.

Aksenov dismissed the report, saying: "We are not in any negotiations with Kazakhstan."

Until the current drought, Russia was one of the world's top grain exporters.

© 2010 AFP

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