Gov't official on Russia's joining to WTO - 11 March, 2003 - News

Questions concerning the pricing of energy resources are planned to be discussed in some other format at negotiations on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization, Russian Deputy Economy Minister Maxim Medvedkov told journalists today pointing out that further talks on this issue were to be conducted on the level of experts. Russia's opponents at the negotiations claim that Russian energy prices influence the trade. However, there is a question whether it is a natural advantage of Russia over its competitors or a deliberate decrease in prices, he noted. "We claim that this is a natural advantage", the deputy minister said.

The discussion of the second variant of a report of the task force on Russia's accession to the WTO is expected to be over in the middle of April. Then a new version will be prepared; its discussion will start in the middle of May, Medvedkov added.

The next formal meeting of the task force is scheduled for April 7 and it will last for one week. The deputy minister does not rule out the possibility of Russia's accession to the WTO before the end of 2003.