According to a Russian TV news report, the Russian government has reached an agreement with an association of major retailers and other organisations to freeze prices on basic foodstuffs.

The agreement, reached after a meeting in Moscow, was confirmed on NTV by Agriculture Minister Aleksey Gordeyev.

Gordeyev said: "We held talks with the association of major retail networks as well as with unions and associations of suppliers of these socially important foodstuffs. And they are ready to undertake obligations, as self-regulating organisations, to stabilise prices and rule out any speculative deals in the food market."

The news agency ITAR-TASS also reported Gordeyev as saying that the retail associations "are ready to agree among themselves to adjust prices, 'freeze' them and focus attention on their internal reserves".