RUIE POSITIVELY THINKS OF COMPLETION OF RUSSIA'S WTO ENTRY TALKS

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LONDON, April 19 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE) gives a positive assessment of the outlook for completing the talks for Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization, said the head of the Severstal Co., Alexei Mordashov, in charge of the RUIE WTO group.

"Given political will, we hope for progress within a reasonable timeframe. Hopefully, it will be months, not years," Mordashov told the special meeting on Russia's entry into the WTO held within the framework of the Russian economic forum in London.

He pointed to a set of unresolved problems between Russia and the WTO, particularly between Russia and countries of the European Union.

Mordashov voiced satisfaction over the compromise steps taken in settling the energy-prices matter.

As regards the liberalization of access to the Russian market, he said: "Yes, trans-boundary rendering of services is hardly possible, though the liberalization of access is quite possible and reasonable." "Only competition can improve the efficiency of the Russian economy and the standard of living in Russia," Mordashov said.

He hopes that solutions will be found also on problems in aviation, car-making, furniture-making and agriculture. "Technically and organizationally we are ready for progressive shifts to be made," Mordashov resumed.

On behalf of the RUIE, he has held 100 regional and 50 sectoral conferences explaining to Russian businessmen particulars and problems of Russia's movement towards the WTO.

In turn, RUIE executive vice president Igor Yurgens noted: "We have decided for ourselves that we have already entered the WTO and are now engaged in further, in-depth questions." Among them he sees the increasing of the responsibility level of corporate management, switchover to the international financing accounting standards for which the RUIE has set up a relative national council, increasing of social responsibility in business and international trade, and as regards wages.

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