17:32 GMT +323 January 2020
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    The creation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Asia-Pacific region could lead to depreciation of the universal principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

    "If closed regional trade and integration structures are created, — I mentioned the Trans-Pacific Partnership [TTP], Americans are also promoting the idea of ​​the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership [TTIP] in the Euro-Atlantic space — there are concerns that by establishing such closed integration associations, their initiators may wittingly or unwittingly lead to the depreciation of the universal principles of the WTO to transfer the center of gravity to such narrow formats."

    Twelve Pacific Rim countries are involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States. The TPP covers roughly 40 percent of the global economy.

    The planned EU-US free trade deal has sparked much controversy in Europe, with thousands-strong protests taking place in several EU member states over the last few months.

    Opponents of the TTIP claim that the deal is undemocratic and will strip elected governments of some of their powers, opening them up to litigation from major corporations.

    The Russian foreign minister said that attempts should be made to "harmonize the integration processes", mentioning the idea of creating a free trade zone between the two integration associations – the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union.

    A year before establishment of the EEU, in January 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow proposed to Brussels for the creation of a free trade area between the two integration associations. Early in April 2015 Lavrov said that Moscow’s offer still stands.


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    Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), World Trade Organization (WTO), Asia-Pacific, Europe, United States
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