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Russia hopes for successful WTO talks with U.S.

© news07.join.com.uaRussia hopes for successful WTO talks with U.S.
Russia hopes for successful WTO talks with U.S. - Sputnik International
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Russia is counting on effective cooperation with the new U.S. administration in WTO accession talks, a first deputy prime minister said on Thursday.

ST. PETERSBURG, June 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is counting on effective cooperation with the new U.S. administration in WTO accession talks, a first deputy prime minister said on Thursday.

"Apart from official events in the framework of the forum, we are conducting bilateral talks, in particular with the United States on the most important issues. As you know, for us, this means Russia's admission to the WTO," said Igor Shuvalov after a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum.

He added that Moscow's previous attempts to deal with the existing differences "have not been crowned with success."

"I hope that we will manage to resolve these issues with the new administration," he said.

Russia's economic development minister said earlier on Thursday that Moscow and the EU could complete WTO accession talks before the end of the year.

"There is a feeling that we are about to reach an agreement with the EU. We hope to complete the negotiations by the end of the year," Elvira Nabiullina said after a meeting with EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton.

The Russian minister said the talks would continue and a working group on Russia's accession to the WTO would hold the next round on June 15-16 while she would have another meeting with Ashton on June 24-25.

Moscow's point man on the WTO said it would take Russia at least six months after the completion of talks to formally join the organization.

"We have indeed achieved a common understanding with the EU that negotiations will be completed before the end of the year. But no matter what, at least half a year will have to pass between the completion of talks and accession," Maxim Medvedkov said.

The Russian and U.S. presidents earlier instructed their governments to expedite Russia's accession to the global trade body.

Russia has been negotiating its entry into the World Trade Organization for more than 15 years.

To date, Russia has completed the mandatory bilateral negotiations with 60 countries concerned, but has yet to synchronize positions on several issues, including agriculture, export duties for timber, and regulation of some state-controlled companies.

Russia is the world's only major economy still outside the WTO. Consent from all 153 WTO members is necessary for a state to join the organization, although individual negotiations are not required in every case.

 

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