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    GERMAN GREF: EU TALKS ACCELERATE RUSSIA'S JOINING WTO

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    MOSCOW, May 21, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Russian and the European Union signed a protocol on Friday, which would accelerate negotiation on Russia's joining the World Trade Organization, Russian Minister of Economic Development and Trade German Gref and EU Trade Commisioner Pascal Lamy said commenting on the protocol signed.

    "No we have all grounds to assume that it will all go faster in Geneva now." Mr Lamy said he was sure the agreement with the EU would be a great impetus for other major Russia's trade partners such as the USA, Japan and China to accelerate the WTO negotiations.

    Mr Gref recalled that there are 25 EU member-states. Thus, according to him, Russia has negotiated the WTO issue with most of EU member-states.

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