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Kiev Wants Higher Quota for Pipes

KIEV — Ukraine wants Russia to increase the volume of steel pipes it imports tariff-free by as much as 39 percent next year, Industrial Policy Minister Dmytro Kolesnikov said in an interview.

Ukraine wants the quota raised to between 300,000 and 360,000 tons in 2011 from 260,000 tons this year, Kolesnikov said last week. "Russia said it is ready to consider the increase," he said.

"It would be very positive for the pipe industry, as it's export-oriented and depends on new projects or projects for modernization," said Sergiy Gayda, an analyst at Dragon Capital, a Kiev-based investment bank. "Russia is our biggest market for pipes."

Ukraine and Russia strengthened ties after Viktor Yanukovych became Ukrainian president in February. Russia is Ukraine's biggest trading partner, according to state statistics.

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