The Russian government will assign priority to Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation /WTO/, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said Friday in his opening speech at an extended session of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. The Prime Minister remarked that his major target was Russia's full membership in the WTO with due account of the interests of Russia's different industrial sectors. Russia needs to join the WTO, because our country cannot be left behind the mainstream of the world economic processes. Otherwise, it would mean that Russia recognizes its economic inferiority towards the partners, Mikhail Kasyanov said. Mikhail Kasyanov believes that only the WTO membership can provide the necessary support for Russia's industrial potential, which is the motive force of economic development. Russia has every opportunity to really compete with other countries in the most of the spheres, Kasyanov remarked. In his words, now that Russia-WTO relations are in a transitional stage, the government should decide when and which sectors will become competitive. Mikhail Kasyanov spoke for an active trade policy and for lifting discriminatory barriers placed on Russian business abroad. We cannot put up with the fact that Russian business is often exposed to discrimination. Indeed, some Russian entrepreneurs are involved in illegal activities, but the majority of businessmen, industrialists and financiers comply with international laws and regulations, added Kasyanov. So, we are bound to uphold their interests, the prime minister underscored.
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