Russia WTO negotiations may be aver by the year end

Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade Maxim Medvedkov believes that the bilateral negotiations of Russia with a majority of the 67 interested member-countries of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) can be completed till the end of this year.

He told reporters about it in Geneva after the end of the consultations in the working group on Russia's entering the WTO.

According to Maxim Medvedkov, during the one-day consultations their participants analysed the course of the negotiation process and determined the programme for the coming round of the negotiations to be held in October.

Apart from the session of the working group, it is planned to hold two multilateral meetings concerning agriculture and services.

Maxim Medvedkov said that this week negotiations were held with 26 countries on the access of goods and services to the Russian market.

He said that "three rounds of negotiations with the European Union have been planned for September-October. We have also agreed to conduct large-scale negotiations with the USA in Moscow at the beginning of October, and with Japan and Chin before the end of September." Commenting, at the request of RIA Novosti, on the intentions of Georgia to bring pressure on Russia in its entering the WTO, the deputy minister said: "Our approach to the WTO, as also the approach of an overwhelming majority of its members, is that this organisation is an instrument of the economic policy. Any possible attempt to use the WTO as an instrument of a political pressure can be assessed as a counter-productive step. We have a lot of other possibilities to settle our problems within the framework of other formulas."

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