No Compromise Yet on Russian Timber Tariffs

Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Väyrynen is disappointed that negotiations with Russia have not brought about a compromise in the dispute over timber tariffs.

On Saturday he stressed, however, that even once the first tax hikes come into effect, talks between Russian authorities and the EU commission will continue. Russia plans to eventually increase export taxes from 2 euros to 50 euros, beginning with an increase of just a few euros today. This is ostensibly to encourage more foreign investment in Russia. However, as Russia is Finland's largest supplier of timber, the plan threatens to completely end the import of wood from Russia to Finland. This in turn would be a severe blow to the entire industry, with many predicting mass layoffs and plant closures. YLE