Toyota plans to export some of the cars assembled at its Russian plant, Russia's Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko told a government meeting on Thursday, according to a Prime-Tass news agency report.

Last April Toyota announced that it would build its first plant in Russia near St. Petersburg and would start production in December 2007.

The new plant will be called Toyota Motor Manufacturing Russia.

Initially the plant will produce the Camry, the company's biggest seller in Russia, at the rate of 20,000 cars a year, Toyota said.

On Thursday, Khristenko said that the area allotted for the plant would include space to build auto parts production facilities as well.

He added that in January-March foreign carmakers produced 28,000 cars in Russia, up from 24,000 in the same period last year

Russian car makers produced about 200,000 cars in the period, down from 232,000 in the first quarter of 2004, he said, according to Prime-Tass.