Economist Livshits: It Is Premature to Speak About Precise Timeframe For Russia's Accession to WTO

Alexander Livshits, Deputy General Manager of the Russky Alluminy company and ex-Finance Minister of Russia, believes it is premature to speak about precise timeframe for Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation. He said this during a press conference at RIA Novosti.

Livshits recalled that Russia had planned to join the WTO in 2004 and said this timeframe was hardly feasible. He explained that Russia and the WTO "still lacked compromise on a number of positions," in particular, the current level of subsidies to the agriculture in Russia, and the access for foreign financial organisations to the Russian market.

The bone of contention in Russia-WTO negotiations is the energy carriers price. Livshits objects to raising the Russian prices to the world level, as the WTO requires. He stressed that no single world price on energy carriers existed. "The world oil price does exist, and an energy carriers price does not," the Russky Alluminy deputy general manager said, pointing out that the price on MW/hr fluctuated from 30 to 60 euros in Germany alone.

Livshits believes that "joining the WTO is no doubt an economic need for Russia." "We must do this, but we must defend the bulwarks that we can't surrender," he said. Among them is first of all "the energy carriers price".