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    PROTOCOL SIGNED ON ACCESS OF ISRAELI GOODS TO RUSSIAN MARKET

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    MOSCOW, February 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and Israel have completed negotiations on tariffs as part of entering the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    On Friday First Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Alexei Kaulbars and Israel's Minister of Industry, Trade and Communications Ehud Olmert signed a bilateral protocol in Moscow on access of Israeli goods to the Russian market. Thereby they established import duties on Israeli goods.

    "This testifies that Russia and Israel have settled all their disagreements," Kaulbars said after the signing ceremony.

    According to Andrei Kushnerenko, head of the tariff department of the Russian Economic Development Ministry, Israel became the fourth country with who Russia signed relevant documents. Earlier, they signed protocols with New Zealand, Moldova and Kyrgyzstan.

    Russia and Kyrgyzstan have also solved all the other contentious issues relating to Russia's accession to the WTO.

    According to Kushnerenko, a principled agreement on the issue has been achieved with another ten countries, in particular, Latvia, Hungary, Chile, Venezuela, Oman and Bolivia. "Formal signing of the necessary documents needs to be discussed as well. This issue can be solved within 2-3 weeks," said the head of the department.

    He also said that tariffs were still to be negotiated with 31 WTO member states.

    On March 2nd-5th, Kushnerenko continued, a new round of talks is due in Geneva on tariffs.

    Kushnerenko remarked that major disagreements persisted with EU countries, in particular, on the issues of "cars, aircraft, and export duties for dairy products." Meanwhile, in the agricultural area, the number of questions has been reduced from 1,800 to 140.

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