MOSCOW, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced on Saturday Russia will lift from July 1 its grain export ban which was imposed last year in the wake of a severe drought.
"From July 1, we will lift the ban on grain exports," said Putin at a meeting with his first deputy, Viktor Zubkov.
Putin noted that to lift the export ban is one of the measures to tap the potential of Russian agricultural producers.
Russia stopped its grain exports on Aug. 15, 2010 after severe drought destroyed crops in the majority of the country's agricultural regions. The harvest in 2010 was 60.9 million tons, down 37 percent compared with 2009.
The ban was initially due to expire at the end of 2010. However, the government decided to continue restricting exports in order to determine whether the new harvest could afford the exports
Earlier this month, Putin said resumption of Russia's grain exports depends on this year's harvest and domestic demands.