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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukraine Grain Regulation Debated

A Ukrainian official on Wednesday defended a presidential decree regulating the country's grain market, discounting concerns it represents a return to a centrally controlled market, a news report said.

Mykhailo Hladiy, deputy prime minister for agriculture, said he had met on Tuesday with U.S. Ambassador Steven Pifer and representatives of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to discuss the decree, issued June 29 by President Leonid Kuchma.

Hladiy said international financial institutions were worried the decree would reestablish Soviet-type controls over the grain market and violate free-market principles, Interfax reported.

"It makes the market transparent, pushes away the profiteers who are reselling grain and, therefore, protects the producers and the investors,'' Hladiy said.

In accordance with the decree, the state would buy grain from farmers at market prices, then sell it back to the farmers at the same price plus storage costs in the fall, Ukrainian reports said.