Talks with WTO to allow Russia find acceptable admission variant

Talks with the World Trade Organization have reached a stage which makes it possible to find an acceptable for Russia variant of its admission to the WTO, Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told journalists on Monday after his speech at the opening of the 3-day session of the WTO working group on Russia's admission. He pointed to the "friendly atmosphere" of the session and the members' intention to intensify the talks.

The Russian government's decision to join the WTO is thoroughly considered and circumspect, the finance minister emphasized. The Russian party is eager to intensify the talks' efficiency and to speed them up, but it cannot agree to additional requirements that are beyond the standard admission conditions. "There is a limit to the price Russia is ready to pay" for joining the WTO, Kudrin said, pointing out that the country "cannot do more that its economy and the long-term development strategy allow." The issue of double pricing in the energy sphere raised at the negotiations by the partners "does not contradict the WTO norms and should be dismissed from the agenda," he believes. As to agriculture, "we are ready to accept any solution provided this sector is able to develop and compete with foreign supplies," Kudrin pointed out.

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