The negotiations in Geneva on Russia's entry into the World Trade Organisation

Deputy head of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade Maxim Medvedkov believes that the first discussion on April 24-25 of the draft final report of the Working Group of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is "a new important element" of the fruitful negotiation process on Russia's entry into the WTO. As was stated by the head of the Russian delegation at the Geneva talks with the WTO, the first variant of the final document, submitted for the consideration of the Working Group, is a result of the complicated long joint work. According to him, "the majority of the members of the Working Group aspire for a constructive dialogue, and this makes it possible to hope that its present sessions will result in a further progress in the negotiations" with the WTO. At the informal session of the Working Group on April 24, there will be the first reading of the report drafted by the WTO Secretariat with the participation of the Russian delegation. The session participants will exchange views on the structure and the content of the documents. In the opinion of the Russian side, the draft report "does not contain any unexpected things," though it contains "some complicated moments over which we shall have to work with our partners and to seek compromises." At the official session of the Working Group on April 25 its members will be informed about the latest bilateral negotiations of the Russian delegation with representatives of different countries and will also be familiarised with the realisation of the programme of amendments being made to the legislation of the Russian Federation which take into consideration the standard rules of the WTO. Chairman of the Working Group Kare Bryn (Norway) will sum up the results of the preliminary discussion of the variant of the final report which took into account the remarks and proposals of the members of the WTO group, and, as is expected, will propose a plan for further work. Apart from the sessions of the Working Group for Russia's entry into the WTO, the negotiations with twenty-two countries on tariffs (including with China for the first time) and with fifteen countries on services will be conducted this week within the framework of the present round.

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