The Russian government may be moving towards setting legally-binding caps on basic food products, local newspaper reports have suggested.

The Vedomosti newspaper made the claim today (23 November), citing a source at the Economy Ministry.

The move would follow news in October that the Russian government signed a pact with major Russian food producers and retailers to freeze prices.

Leading companies signed the agreement, which covers basic staple foods and is aimed at tackling rising food price inflation, on 24 October at the Agriculture Ministry.

The agreement Was backdated until 15 October, and runs through to 31 January.

The move has been taken to halt inflation stemming from the country's oil export boom and rising international food prices. The Putin administration is keen to stabilise food prices in the run-up to parliamentary elections in December. However, the measures have been criticised by some economists as a throwback to the Soviet era.