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Russia to present amendments on WTO accession by year end

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Russia hopes to present its amended position on World Trade Organization (WTO) accession by the end of the year, the head of Russia's Department of Trade Negotiations said on Thursday.

Russia hopes to present its amended position on World Trade Organization (WTO) accession by the end of the year, the head of Russia's Department of Trade Negotiations said on Thursday.

"Together with the WTO members we have already started to consider the necessary amendments to the working group report that will take into account our membership of the Customs Union," Maxim Medvedkov said. "I believe, we will accomplish this by the end of the year," he added.

In June 2009 Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan notified the WTO of their intention to join the organization as a customs union. Four months later, they said they would resume talks on WTO accession separately, but from synchronized positions.

After an almost year-long deadlock in the negotiation process, the WTO partners are fairly positive on the issue of Russia's accession to the organization, Medvedkov said.

In August Russian President Dmitry Medvedev urged ministers to complete WTO accession talks in September.

Although the average WTO accession period is five to seven years, Russia, which is the only major economy outside of the global trade body, has been in negotiations for 17 years.

Earlier this month Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin voiced concerns that Russia is unlikely to join the WTO by the projected date of January 1.

MOSCOW, September 30 (RIA Novosti)

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