MOSCOW, Russia – The volume of Russian exports outside the oil and gas sector is expected to hit a new record by the end of this year, reaching $147 billion, said Andreyi Slepnev, executive director of the Russian Export Center.
The number is compared to the previous record that was recorded in 2013, when the country’s non-energy exports reached $143.5 billion.
According to Slepnev, the increase was observed in several sectors. In October alone, food exports reached $2.47 billion, an increase of $330 million from the previous record set in November 2017.
Exports of forest products are expected to hit a record high of $11.7 billion. In addition, wheat sales abroad are expected to hit a record of the previous year, growing to more than 42 million tonnes.
“Increasing non-primary exports from Russia is currently a key priority for the strategic development of the Russian economy. This year’s results show that we have chosen the right path for the development of export industries,” said Slepnev, noting that the current export policy is contributing significantly to the country’s economic growth.
To promote exports, the Center supports companies to sell their products abroad. The agency is committed to providing access to external markets to all 85 regions of Russia.
Meanwhile, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Saturday that the US has its own interests in Europe, which explains the pressure that Washington is exerting on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.
However, Germany must decide for itself who it wants to do business with.
“They [the US] do this not out of love for Ukraine, but because they themselves want to send gas to Germany. Liquefied gas [LNG] is more expensive and has lower quality than that provided by the pipeline,” said the Social-Democrat in an interview for the newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
According to Schroeder, Berlin should not allow Washington to determine with whom to negotiate.
“Iran, China, Russia – if we continue this way, we will not be able to have economic relations with anyone soon,” he said.
“For an export dependent country such as Germany, this is unacceptable. Despite all our respect and friendship, we have to say that to the Americans,” he added.
He stressed that he is not an anti-US politician, but during his time as chancellor, his foreign policy aimed at securing a certain independence from the United States.