Year 2002 as likely data for Russia's admission to WTO

Russia's government has set itself the task of speeding up negotiations for this country's admission to the World Trade Organization, with WTO membership expected to be gained in the year 2002, Anti-Trust Policy Minister Ilya Yuzhanov said to the press Tuesday. The time of the admission will depend on how the talks will go, both with the WTO as a whole and with individual member states that press Russia into making additional commitments before it is taken in. According to Yuzhanov, the Tuesday session of the governmental council for private enterprise, which was chaired by Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, discussed stances of Russian businesspeople on the prospect of joining the WTO. The conversation was of a strategic character: whether it is beneficial or not, which in which sectors, and what difficulties will have to be faced as a result, Yuzhanov revealed The minister said some of the council members had expressed fears over the prospects of their businesses once Russia joined the WTO. United Machine-Building Plants Co. head Kakha Bendukidze pointed out that Russia's entering the WTO will spur on competition on the domestic market. "It means that consumers will not have to pay extra for the consumption of better goods," Bendukidze explained.

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