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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ivanov Urges Timber Sector Reforms

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov on Wednesday called for new roads to be built to make forests more accessible and said regulations for the timber industry needed clearing up.

A total of 8,000 kilometers of forest roads are needed over the next five to six years, Ivanov told the first session of a government commission on the development of industry, technology and transportation.

"In Russia, every 1,000 hectares of forest is served by 1.2 kilometers" of roads," Ivanov said, Interfax reported. "In Western Europe and North America, which are our main competitors, that amount is at least 20 percent to 30 percent higher."

Up to 70 percent of the country's forestry reserves are completely inaccessible, Ivanov added.

Ivanov instructed the Industry and Energy and the Economic Development and Trade ministries to present a plan for developing the industry to the government within a month, the agency said.

"We talk and talk ... but no practical steps have been taken to create easy-to-understand rules for [Russian] and foreign firms working in the domestic market," Ivanov said.