Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday that Russia’s ban on grain exports, which was adopted last month after a severe drought and heatwave depressed the harvest, would be extended well into next year because of continued uncertainty over production.
The government had been scheduled to review the ban toward the end of this year, but Putin indicated at a meeting of senior officials that to ensure stability in the domestic market, grain exports should be halted for considerably longer than that.
“I believe that we must make clear that we can examine the cancelation of the ban on grain exports only after next year’s harvest is gathered and there is clarity regarding grain levels,” Putin said. “There should be no frantic movement here.”
Since rebounding from inefficient Soviet policies, Russia has played an increasingly important role in the world grain market and the decision to ban exports last month caused a jolt that helped to drive up prices, but with production suffering because of record temperatures, Putin declared that the country had no choice.
The ban was intended to last until Dec. 31, and it was not entirely clear from Putin’s comments on Thursday exactly how much longer it would be prolonged, but he seemed to be suggesting that it would go through to fall next year.
Analysts estimate that this year’s harvest will fall by roughly a third. Last year, Russia was the world’s third-largest wheat exporter, behind the US and Canada.
In his remarks on Thursday, Putin also demanded that officials crack down on food speculators, seeking to calm a public that has grown jittery because of rising prices for meat, flour, pasta and other staples.
The Kremlin is said to be concerned that discontent over prices could influence the outcome of the 2012 presidential election, when either Putin or his protege, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, is expected to run.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDES? Some experts say the NHI system does not do enough to educate the public, or pay doctors to talk to patients, about healthy lifestyles While the life expectancy of Taiwanese newborns in 2018 reached 80.69 years, the number of years people spent in poor health hit a record high at 8.41 years, Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics showed on Saturday. Healthy life expectancy is calculated by a person’s life expectancy minus the time they spend in ill health, such as the loss of mobility, disabilities and chronic disease, based on medical records and calculations about the years they live with disabilities. The number of years that Taiwanese spend in poor health is increasing slowly, but steadily, rising by 0.46 years, or five-and-a-half months, between 2012
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also
‘BASELESS ACCUSATIONS’: Ker Chien-ming said it was not possible to drop Chen Chu’s nomination, while KMT lawmakers accused their DPP rivals of ‘homicidal behavior’ The Legislative Yuan is to vote on President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominations for the Control Yuan on July 17 after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators regained access to the legislative chamber yesterday after it was occupied by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers for about 19 hours. The Legislative Yuan had been scheduled to meet yesterday morning to discuss its planned extraordinary session, but more than 20 KMT lawmakers on Sunday afternoon broke into the main chamber and occupied the legislative speaker’s podium to protest Tsai’s nomination of former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊) to be Control Yuan president. The KMT caucus