Russia can join WTO before late 2004

Russia can join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) before the end of 2004, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade Maksim Medvedkov said at a roundtable on Russia's accession to the WTO.

In his words, already in 2003 talks on Russia's WTO membership with the majority of nations will be completed. At present, three major blocks of issues remain to be co-ordinated with WTO member-states. These issues deal with customs and currency regulations, certification and are mostly technical, Medvedkov added. The negotiating process has shown that the Russian legislation on the whole meets the basic level that WTO membership requires.

The roundtable in Vladivostok (the administrative centre of Primorye) yielded a package of proposals heeding Russia's regional specifics regarding its accession to the WTO. The package at issue has been forwarded to the negotiating group for further talks with other WTO members.

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