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Moscow says WTO talks to conclude next week

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Negotiations on Russia’s admission to the World Trade Organization will be officially completed next week, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday.

Negotiations on Russia’s admission to the World Trade Organization will be officially completed next week, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday.

A WTO ministerial conference to consider Russia’s accession bid is expected to take place on December 15.

President Dmitry Medvedev said earlier in the day he hoped Russia would join the WTO before the end of the current year and that would be “good news.”

If the bid is approved the accession documents will need to be ratified by the Russian parliament, and 30 days after ratification Russia will become a full-fledged member of the WTO.

Russia has endeavored to join the WTO since 1993. The last remaining obstacle to its admission is Georgia, which has refused to give Russia the go-ahead since the two countries fought a brief war in August 2008 when Georgia attacked South Ossetia to bring it back under Tbilisi's central control. After the war, Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and another ex-Georgian republic, Abkhazia.

 

Maxim Medvedkov, Russia’s chief WTO negotiator, said on Wednesday Moscow has resolved all outstanding WTO related issues with Tbilisi, a claim promptly denied by Georgia.

 

Georgian Deputy Prime Minister Georgy Baramidze said on Thursday Russia “took a timeout” in its WTO talks with Georgia.

 

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