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Russian Agriculture Minister Undecided on Wheat Export Tax Extension

A ladybug crawls down a stalk of wheat.

Russian Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov said on Wednesday the ministry had yet to decide whether a wheat export tax should be extended for the next 2015-16 marketing year and whether to lift a ban on some Western food products.

The decision on the wheat export tax could be made in June when Russia's 2015 grain crop prospects become clear, he told reporters. The tax is currently set until June 30.

Russia banned most Western food imports, worth about $9 billion, last year in retaliation to Western sanctions over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis.

Asked whether Russia planned to extend the ban, which runs until early August, Fyodorov said: "If our Western partners ease their sanctions regime against Russia … then we [the government] would have material to review and adjust the sanctions list of countries and products."

"So, we expect a signal from our Western partners."

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