Andrey Ivochkin: Russia to join the WTO no later than 2003

Monday delivered a very important piece of news for Russia: the country is going to join the World Trade Organization no later than 2003. This was stated by WTO director Mike Moore after a meeting with Maksim Medvedkov (deputy minister for the economic development and trade), the head of the Russian delegation in Geneva. Russia will take part in the next ministerial conference of the WTO as a member; the conference is to take place in the year 2003.

“I would like Russia to join the WTO next year. I think it is possible, but the decision depends on the WTO’s members,” – the director general of the organization said. He also mentioned that the idea was supported by the top representatives of WTO’s members, including the G7.

The USSR tried to join the WTO at the beginning of the 80s, from the moment when the organization was established, but it failed to gain entrance for political reasons. Russia has been trying to get into the WTO for ten years already, but there has not been any result yet. This stage of negotiations between Russia and the WTO must allow Russia to start solving the practical issues of Russia’s future membership. The informal meeting with the interested members of the workgroup, devoted to the issues of the agriculture, took place last Friday. Spokespeople from 30 WTO members took part in the meeting; it summed up the results of a series of bilateral negotiations of the Russian delegation with its major trading partners.

The official meeting of the working group is planned to take place in Geneva at the end of January of the next year, RIA Novosti informed. There are about 50 countries included in the group, Russia’s most significant commercial partners.

Andrey Ivochkin PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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