Russia not to join WTO in 2003

The third version of a report made by the task force on Russia's accession to the WTO will be considered beginning June 7, 2003, Russian Senior Deputy Economy Minister Maxim Medvedkov reported today. According to him, in June 2003, Russia will hold talks with its EU and US partners. The new version does not contain any additional requirements except for cutting the difference between domestic and foreign prices for Russian energy carriers.

Among other controversial points that need to be resolved are Russian export and import regulations and sanitary standards. Moreover, some foreign representatives of the WTO demand the opening of the Russian services market. Russia cannot meet this demand because, at present, domestic service providers cannot compete with their foreign peers, Medvedkov said.

The Deputy Minister stressed that Russia would not join the WTO in 2003. He said the joining might be possible in 2004 or 2005.

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