The Romanian government is considering a possible ban on log exports to countries outside of the EU, Environment minister Costel Alexe has told news channel Digi24. His statement comes after President Klaus Iohannis was quoted on Thursday as saying he was woried about the proportions of wood cutting in Romania, half of which is done illegally.
The minister said such a move would not be possible when it comes to exports within the EU, as it would not be allowed under common market rules.
But he said Romania was exporting a "significant" amount of wood to EU countries as well.
On Thursday, President Iohannis said Romania needed strong policies on the issue as the existinng data on deforestation were shocking. He said the issue had been discussed by the Supreme Defence Council and a framework decision had been made, but the issue was of no concern for the previous Social Democratic government.
Iohannis said the Environment minister in the new Liberal government presented him with several measures that could be applied in legislation.
Deforestation is a major issue for Romania's environment as large amounts of wood is cut down illegally - half of the total, by the latest official accounts. Scandals involving large international processers and furniture makers have been affecting the country for years, along with killings of forest rangers who stay in the way of illegal woodcutters.