Russia, U.S. discuss WTO bid before G8 summit, senators object

Subscribe
US
India
Global
German Gref and Susan Schwab will continue talks started in Moscow Wednesday night on a number of issues that have so far stalled the negotiation process, including access to Russia's banking sector, intellectual property rights, import duties and agricultural subsidies.
MOSCOW, July 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's economics minister and the new U.S. trade representative will focus on Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization Thursday against the backdrop of a new attempt to derail the process in Washington.

German Gref and Susan Schwab will continue talks started in Moscow Wednesday night on a number of issues that have so far stalled the negotiation process, including access to Russia's banking sector, intellectual property rights, import duties and agricultural subsidies.

Russia has now signed bilateral protocols with 57 members out of the 58-member Working Party on its accession to the world's largest trade body, and the United States is the only WTO member state with whom Russia has yet to resolve contentious issues in the way of its WTO membership.

If the talks are not finished on Thursday, they will continue, a source in the Russian Economic Development and Trade ministry said. On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said he expected to sign a protocol before leaders from the Group of Eight industrialized nations gather St. Petersburg for a summit this weekend.

Russia will receive the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Japan on July 15-17 as part of its current presidency of the club.

White House press secretary Tony Snow said Wednesday that the U.S. was hoping to conclude a bilateral WTO agreement with Russia as soon as possible.

"We hope to be able to reach an agreement as soon as possible," he told journalists on board Air Force One. "But you can't let such things be dictated in all points by schedule."

But against Zhukov's upbeat comments and even U.S. President George Bush's enthusiasm - he told journalists Monday he was "optimistic" a deal could be signed in Russia's second city - stiff opposition to Russian remains in Washington.

All but echoing individual calls on Capitol Hill for Russia to be kicked out of the G8 for an allegedly poor record on democracy, 20 senators from the Democratic Party urged Bush to be cautious about allowing Russia swift entry into the 149-member organization.

The top lawmakers said the U.S. administration should postpone the signing of a bilateral agreement until "numerous issues critical to U.S. agriculture, manufacturing, high tech, intellectual property and services industries remain outstanding."

Newsfeed
0
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
loader
Chats
Заголовок открываемого материала