The economic effect from the recognition of Russia as the country with a market economy amounted to $150m in 2002, Economy Minister German Gref declared at an Internet press conference today. He pointed out that Russia had already agreed to the terms of its ascension to the World Trade Organization with nine member states, and negotiations with another 15 were to be finished by the spring of 2003. The European Union, the USA and South Africa have already recognized Russia as the country with a free market economy.
Following Lithuania, Norway has joined the anti-Russian frenzy as well and declared a blockade against the Russian town of Barentsburg. However, Norway has not taken into account the fact that Svalbard is not its original territory