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'Extremely Negative Factor': Moscow Concerned Over Secrecy of TPP Agreement

© Flickr / GlobalTradeWatchProtesters at the TPP Leesburg rally in Virginia, US.
Protesters at the TPP Leesburg rally in Virginia, US. - Sputnik International
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The secrecy of the economic Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is "an extremely negative factor", a Russian diplomat said.

Demonstrators protest against the legislation to give US President Barack Obama fast-track authority to advance trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Moscow is alarmed over the secrecy of the economic Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and hopes the agreement will become public at some point, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Latin American Department said.

“We haven’t read what’s been signed and basically no one’s read it. Therefore, in order to assess this, we need to know what it’s about. We believe that since no one knows anything about it to be an extremely negative factor. We are alarmed by the fact that the rules of international trade are beginning to be broken up into regional agreements instead of universal rules of international trade and this mosaic is being created from completely different trade relations without any sort of unified denominator,” Alexander Shchetinin told RIA Novosti in an interview.

Shchetenin said that these new agreements have a ‘secret characteristic’ to them and could also carry an “excluded aspect.”

“We believe that at some level that [the agreement] needs to become public,” Shchetinin added.

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“We will study it of course to find out if it affects relations that are set up between our countries,” Shchetinin told RIA Novosti.

He said that two key players are absent from the TPP agreement, namely Russia and China.

According to Shchetinin, it is necessary to clearly understand the TPP mechanisms and principles to have a full picture of the potential barriers for further advancement in Latin America-Russia cooperation.

A placard during a rally against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) - Sputnik International
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Talks on the wording of the TPP deal were successfully concluded by trade ambassadors from the participating countries, namely the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, on October 5.

Ratification of the agreement by its participants, which together account for about 40 percent of the global trade, is still pending.

After the October TPP talks, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia would analyze the deal in regard to its own national interests. He also cited Russian President Vladimir Putin's warning at the United Nations in late September of the dangers that closed-door trade arrangements entailed, including attempts to replace the mechanisms of the World Trade Organization and other international trade regulations.

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