APEC backs Russia’s bid to join WTO

APECMoscow obtained largely moral support from all the members and is working on bilateral deals to get formal declarations.

Vasily Dobrovolsky, senior Russian official to the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation forum told PRAVDA.Ru in Chile that “all APEC economies back Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organization”. “The entire forum supports Russia, but largely in a moral way”, explained the top official, who is looking for formal declarations from the members.

One of the main objectives of the Russian delegation at 2004’s APEC was to obtain support from the forum to its bid to join the WTO. As the forum works under the basis of consensus, delegates struggled hard to convince other members to back Russia.

During the ministerial meetings, Russia was morally backed by the other 20 countries, so Moscow has to negotiate now bilateral formal supports. “We are moving now to get it stipulated in documents, which will allow us to present our protocols at the WTO”, confirmed Mr. Dobrovolsky at PRAVDA.Ru requirement.

The Russian ministerial delegations also discussed other key issues at the meetings, including common efforts to fight terrorism and corruption. “We are positive that the Santiago Summit will promote development and a peaceful world order”, said Russian diplomat at the news conferences room.

According to Dobrovolsky, “the meetings showed consensus among members to fight corruption and terrorism, as well as other important issues as free trade, international trade cooperation and economic sustainable development”.

“Russia touches great significance to APEC, and as an active member it has pushed several initiatives to the forum”, said Dobrovolsky. PRAVDA.Ru could know the contents of some of these measures. Russia proposed:
- A multilateral agreement to create infrastructure for foreign investments.
- To step up measures to fight terrorism’s funds rising and other financial restrictions.
- An agreement to control the traffic of portable missiles, which can be used by terrorist to target civil flights.
- A bid to regulate the exports of non-ferrous metals.
As for Dobrovolsky, APEC summit is a key opportunity for Russia to promote the development of its Siberian and Far East regions.

Among other issues, APEC members also discussed health initiatives against the spread of AIDS and SARS. APEC’s foreign ministers also condemned terrorist act in Beslan.

Santiago, Chile

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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey