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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Minsk Spurns Kazakh Grain, Turns to West

MINSK, Belarus -- Belarus intends to buy grain from Western Europe instead of the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, a senior government official has said.

Anatoly Gritsai, head of the government's grain department, said that Kazakh grain was too expensive after a price increase to $115 per ton.

Belarus had been under contract to buy 1 million tons of Kazakh grain but had not received any before the price rise was announced.

It was not clear how much it intended to buy from the West. The former Soviet republic needs 70,000 tons of grain per month.

"Belarus will not use traditional suppliers. Rather, we will buy grain in Western Europe," Gritsai said. "Westerners are more reliable partners, their grain is cheaper and there are no transport problems."