Russian parliamentarians welcome the fact that the Davos World Economic Forum is holding its session in Moscow. According to Vladimir Tarachev, deputy chairman of the Duma committee on credit organisations and financial markets, the fact that Moscow has become the venue of such a session testifies that Russia's commitment to democratic reform is being translated into life. In his opinion, the session will focus on Russia's current reforms and on attracting investment to the Russian market. As to prospects for Russia's membership in the World Trade Organisation /WTO/, Vladimir Tarachev dubbed this issue very pressing and unalternative. Besides, he said, particular attention should be paid to the terms on which some sectors of Russia's economy will enter the WTO. It will take Russia 8-10 years to live up to the WTO standards, the deputy assured. In his turn, Alexander Chershintsev of the Duma budget and tax committee /the Regions of Russia faction/ said that the visiting session of the forum was meant to encourage investment in Russia's economy. He also spoke out in favour of a well measured approach to Russia's WTO membership. The very accession to the Organisation is dictated by the fact that we live in this world, but the process itself must be well considered in terms of timing and conditions, stressed the parliamentarian. Some sectors of Russia's economy may suffer losses lest the Russian legislation and technological processes are brought in line with the Western standards, he argued. In his opinion, our country is not expected to join the WTO before 2004. According to chairman Ivan Grachev of the subcommittee on immovable property and evaluation of the Duma budget and tax committee, once Russia joins the WTO, it should be guaranteed that its least protected sectors, such as airspace, information and energy industries, will receive further development. In his opinion, Russia's unconditional accession to the WTO will result in transferring Russian capital to the Western market. Moreover, he added, Europe is interested in Russia's integration even to a greater extent.
Photos show many anti-Ukrainian and anti-EU slogans that the farmers use in their demonstration. One of the banners attached to a tractor calls on Russian President Vladimir Putin to bring "Ukraine, Brussels and our rulers” to order