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  Monday, July 6, 2020
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Russia is resuming multilateral talks on accession to the World Trade
Russia is resuming multilateral talks on accession to the World Trade Organization in Geneva on Thursday, Russia's top negotiator said.

Russia started WTO accession talks in 1995. The latest round of talks with the 153-member global trade organization collapsed in late July, but the top negotiator, Maxim Medvedkov, who is the director of the Russian Economic Development Ministry's trade talks department, said then that the parties could still return to the negotiating table later this year.

Medvedkov said Russia should press ahead with negotiations and not postpone its accession to the world trade club.

"Now a financial crisis is developing worldwide. It may spread to commodity markets. As is frequently the case in such situations, countries sharply step up protectionist measures. If we don't join the WTO, other countries will not play by the rules against us... That is why, I don't believe we should postpone this issue," Medvedkov said in an interview with Izvestia newspaper.

Medvedkov also said the absence of diplomatic relations with Georgia would not pose an obstacle for Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization.

"There are a lot of countries in the world that do not maintain diplomatic relations. For example, this concerns the United States and Cuba, Armenia and Turkey and many other countries. Therefore, the absence of bilateral relations, in principle, does not affect membership," Medvedkov said.

Georgia, which became a WTO member in 2000, broke off diplomatic relations with Russia after Moscow recognized the independence of Georgia's breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.


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