Belarus and EU reach provisional agreement

Belarus and the European Commission 'have come to a provisional agreement' to raise the quota of Belarussian textiles in 2004 in return for greater EU access to the Belarussian textiles market. As a Rosbalt correspondent was informed yesterday by the press office of the Belarussian Foreign Ministry, these agreements were reached during negotiations in Brussels on the possibility of extending the Belarus-EU trade agreement on textiles.

'Belarus' proposal to raise quotas is based on the capabilities of the Belarussian textile industry and is also linked to the upcoming wave of EU expansion. There are also no economic reasons now to maintain the current quotas,' a ministry spokesman said.

The EC's final decision on quota levels for 2003 and 2004 will be announced to Belarus within the next few weeks as soon as all the EU member states have been consulted.

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