KRASNODAR, RUSSIA --- Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to make Russia a leader in the world’s agro-industrial market, TASS News Agency reported on March 12.

He plans for the nation to be a net exporter of food in four years. This will require modern infrastructure and logistics, rail transport debottlenecking and capacity growth in ports, elevators and storage terminals, Putin said during a plenary session of the All-Russian Forum of Agricultural Producers.

Agricultural produce and foods exports increased 16-fold compared to 2000 and revenue from exports are a third above earnings from arms exports, he said.

Production increased 2.4% in 2017 and was nearly double from 2000.

According to TASS, Putin said Russian authorities will toughen measures to fight “gray imports” and counterfeit in the agricultural sector.

“Of course, the extremal border of the EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union) should not be transparent for penetration of goods which are restricted for import to the customs area of Russia,” TASS quoted Putin as saying. “We understand this perfectly well and we are working on it constantly.”

He said that sometimes triggers controversy among Russia’s partners.

Russia will provide support to domestic producers within the scope of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"Despite all the external signs of compliance with WTO requirements, developed economies actually use a very wide range of instruments to support their producers of goods," Putin said. "We will also do this in future, without violation of principles and requirements of the World Trade Organization.”