Working Group on Russia Joining WTO Held Scond Rading of the Fnal Rport

The working group on Russia joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) concluded yesterday evening the four-day second reading of a number of sections of its final report and will continue its detailed discussion within the framework of a regular round of negotiations to begin on March 3. Head of the Russian delegation at the negotiations with the WTO, deputy economic development and trade minister Maxim Medvedkov said this in an interview with RIA Novosti.

He is of the opinion that constructive discussion of the report is the main result of the present round which will continue till February 2 in the form of bilateral negotiations on goods and services with a number of member countries of the working group.

The deputy minister reported that questions of the Russian macroeconomic policy, currency regulation and control, free trade zones and customs unions were touched upon during the discussion of the report.

Within the framework of this round, Medvedkov said, "we achieved success at the bilateral talks on the access to the goods market and today we can state for the first time that negotiations have been practically completed with some countries." He also pointed out that "for the first time since the WTO was formed 66 states have taken part in our negotiations on tariffs, which can be considered a world record."

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