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Russia plans to complete bilateral negotiations on its accession to the World Trade Organization within three weeks
Russia plans to complete bilateral negotiations on its accession to the World Trade Organization within three weeks, and all multilateral talks by the end of July, a senior economics ministry official said Wednesday. Moscow has signed bilateral protocols with all but two WTO members, and has yet to complete multilateral talks with its trade partners within the 150-member organization. "We have two countries to negotiate with - Cambodia and Vietnam, and we are confident we will complete bilateral talks in the next three weeks," Andrei Kushnirenko, deputy head of the trade talks department, told a business conference in Moscow. He also said Russian negotiators would do their best to complete multilateral talks by the end of July. "But we need the good will of our partners," he said. "If everything goes according to plan, we will be in the WTO starting January 1, 2008," Kushnirenko said. After joining the WTO, Russia will gain the right to defend its interests and participate in all talks on trade regulations planned for the next decade, although the country will start gradual transition to an open market economy only after a year of its accession, the official added.
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