Price of Ukraine's WTO entry said to come at Russia's expense

The conditions set for Ukraine's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) are not good for Russia, Vadim Gustov, chairman of the Federation Council's Committee on Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, told journalists. He met with reporters after a session of the Interparliamentary Commission created by the Federation Council and the Supreme Rada.

He said Ukraine has agreed for the sake of entering the WTO to eliminate duties on imported civil aviation by the year 2010. 'Russia cannot afford that,' Gustov said.

He said the Russian market would be flooded with planes of foreign manufacture, and 'we would simply lose that source of vital technology.' Besides, Gustov said, if Russia and Ukraine are part of a free economic zone, planes allowed in by Ukraine will reach the Russian market.

'We absolutely can't go along with this,' he said. 'Ukraine is making a strategic blunder, for it, too, stands to gain a great deal by the development of advanced technology by having its own air and space industry.'

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