A complete ban on Russian timber exports to China looks inappropriate, said Head of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade

A complete ban on the sale of Russian timber exports to China looks inappropriate, since illegal logging is an internal problem of the country, said the Head of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, RIA Novosti reported on 19 August.

Manturov was responding to comments made by Dmitry Kobylkin, Russia’s minister of natural resources and environment, that Russia could ban timber exports to China unless Beijing takes action to help mitigate the effects of illegal logging.

While understanding Kobylkin’s concern, he noted that China is a major trade and economic partner of Russia and if Moscow hopes to increase turnover, quarrelling with Beijing unless absolutely necessary does not make sense.

According to him, Russia, as a WTO member may not impose a ban on the export of forest for one country. In the case of such a decision, China will be able to introduce counter-sanctions.

Russian authorities attributed some of the widespread wildfires across Siberia in recent weeks to arsonists trying to cover up on illegal logging activities.

Dmitry Kobylkin, Russia’s minister of natural resources and environment, complaint about “China’s unsatisfactory attitude towards the problem” in an interview with the daily Vedomosti newspaper and warned that Russia could ban timber exports to China.