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24

Russia Should Fulfil The Conditions To Join WTO

Russia will join the WTO only if it is offered conditions profitable for its economy

Russia will join the World Trade Organization only if it is offered conditions profitable for its economy, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Yakovenko said, Mosnews.com reported.

?It should be stressed that accession to the WTO is not an end in itself for us, and we are not pushing for the fastest admission possible. We plan to join this organization when mutually agreed conditions for our membership will fully answer the goal of strengthening the Russian economy,? the government official said.

The deputy foreign minister noted that the negotiation process is currently moving along intensively. At the present time Russia has finished negotiations and signed relevant protocols with 19 WTO members regarding access of their goods to the Russian market and with 13 WTO members regarding access of their services.

?At the same time it?s no secret that we are still discussing the most difficult issues, and it?s not easy to reach an agreement regarding them,? Yakovenko said.

He meant such issues as the level of import tariffs for sectors of the economy such as the air and space industry and the car making industry, conditions for access of foreign banks and insurance companies to the Russian financial market and measures for support of the agricultural sector. There are also a number of issues regarding customs regulation, veterinary control, intellectual property rights? protection and regulation of the pharmaceutical market.

?Unfortunately, some of the countries still present demands that go beyond the standard framework of WTO agreements. They bring up important issues for us such as regulation of energy resource prices, export tariffs and activities of state companies,? said the official.