Moscow Mayor warns Russia against joining WTO

“Nobody minds Russia joining World Trade Organisation, however, for the time being, the state is not ready for such a step”, Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov said, speaking at the Third All-Russian Congress of Commodity Producers. According to him, Russia’s joining WTO, scheduled for 2002, may provoke dangerous consequences in Russian economics, and may have a negative influence upon the development of the internal market. Russia it not ready at all for such a step, from the point of view of the profitability of the production, price policy, tariffs. Thousands of plants will collapse as a result, Luzhkov said. More that 70% of Moscow plants are equipped with outmoded facilities, there are no investment in the real economy sector. The profitability of the production is less than 10% almost everywhere, the Moscow mayor said. There is no use to pin hopes on Russian tycoons: “they failed to revive even such an important enterprise, as ZIL”. Indeed, there is no use to pin hopes upon the West, the politician said. Only our state and the government’s considered policy can restore Russian economy. However it does not pay enough attention to the real sector of Russian economy. Neither representatives of the government, nor ministers took part in the Congress, Luzhkov regretted to report. It means that they are “indifferent about Russian commodity producers, about real sector of Russian economy”.