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    MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is sure that Moscow will agree with the USA and China on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    "Russia-EU talks on the conditions of Russia's accession to the WTO have been completed today, and a relevant agreement signed," the minister said at a ceremony of giving the award "For Merits in the Field of Foreign Investments in Russia - 2004" on Friday.

    The minister added that Russia had to agree with the USA and China yet. "I think this will be done," Lavrov said.

    In his opinion, attraction of foreign investments increases the Russian companies' competitiveness. "The more efficiently foreign investments work in Russia, the more efficiently Russian companies will work," Lavrov said.

    He noted that for the Russian Government and Foreign Ministry, the creation of a normal investment climate for foreign companies in the Russian Federation is a priority. Lavrov said for the recent years the state has done a lot to move forward in this direction. "Much has been done in the field of improving legislation, from the point of view of creating a favorable investment climate," the foreign minister said.

    According to a RIA Novosti correspondent, the ceremony of awarding the best company took place in an informal atmosphere. The minister's words about signing the relevant protocol between Russia and the EU on the WTO were welcomed by loud applause of businessmen.

    During his speech, the foreign minister repeatedly mentioned the winner company - Nestle, which caused the prize cofounder, Alfa-bank president Pyort Aven, to pretend to be angry. In line with the procedure of the ceremony, he was to have named the winner.

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