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Väyrynen: No Solution to Timber Tariff Dispute, Yet

Finnish and Russian negotiators were unable to reach a consensus on Russia's plans to raise export duties on raw timber during talks in Moscow. Foreign Trade and Development Minister Paavo Väyrynen met with Russian Minister of Economic Development and Trade Elvira Nabiullina on Wednesday to discuss the dispute between the two countries. Väyrynen said the talks on timber tariffs and border traffic were frank and intense. Russia said it is not prepared to draw up an independent agreement with Finland concerning timber tariffs. Instead the dispute will be handled at the EU level. On July 19th, representatives from the European Commission and Russia are to discuss the issue. Minister Väyrynen said he hopes a consensus on the tariff issue can be found. However he said he doesn't foresee finding a comprehensive solution to the dispute by the end of the month. He added that he told Russian representatives Finland must compensate its forest industry for the financial losses in some way. Väyrynen also invited Nabiullina to Finland this month to discuss possible solutions. However he said he suspects a solution will be found during EU-Russia talks concerning Russia's membership to the World Trade Organisation. In addition to the timber tariff dispute, the Finnish and Russian ministers are discussing ways to improve the flow of traffic at the Finnish-Russian border. YLE Väyrynen Would Open State Coffers in Face of Tariff Hikes Russia Expert: Finland in Weak Position in Wood Tariff Issue