Belarus ready to sell flour to Russia - Lukashenko

Belarus has cropped over 7 million tons of grain, which allows the country not only to cover its own demands, but also to help neighbors, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Saturday.

"Despite the complicated weather conditions we have cropped almost 600,000 tons of wheat and the total yield of other grain and pulse crops, apart from corn, is 7.1 million tons," Lukashenko said at a harvest fest in the Belarusian city of Lida.

The Belarus grain carryover stock is about 1.2 million tons, Lukashenko added.

"In a word, we can feed ourselves and even help our neighbors. At Russia's request, our republic will sell dozen of thousands tons of seeds, flour and grits to it," the Belarusian president said.

Russia has lost some 30 millions tons of grain due to the heat wave that had gripped much of European Russia from mid-June to August. The drought cut grain crops by a third, the potato harvest by 24.4 percent, and vegetables by 6.1 percent. Russia imposed an export ban on wheat in August following a drought this summer that wiped out around a quarter of the nation's crops.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia will lift a ban on grain exports after next year's harvest is gathered in, not this year's.


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