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German Gref says that all the questions surrounding Russia's entry into the WTO will be decided by December, 2005
Russia's Minister of Economic Development and Trade German Gref says that all the questions surrounding Russia's entry into the WTO will be decided by December, 2005.. "We plan to succeed in deciding all the questions with our partners in the working group, the U.S. included, by the WTO Ministerial conference in Hong Kong in December 2005," Mr. Gref said in an interview with RIA Novosti in Zurich. On Sunday Mr. Gref arrived in Zurich where a regular round of the bilateral talks with the U.S. regarding Russia's WTO entry opens Monday. US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick will be representing the American side. "The talks with a number of other countries, for instance with India and Turkey, ended successfully not long ago. We did this earlier with the European Union and China. The signing of the final bilateral protocol with the US is, as a matter of fact, the main step in the final stage of Russia's accession to the WTO," Mr. Gref said. He noted that a number of serious questions, mainly concerning energy, intellectual property and agriculture, still remain for the U.S. talks. "The task is to maximally narrow this circle and to attain an accord with the USA before the end of this year," he stated. Mr. Gref noted parliament members' role in the negotiating process. According to Mr. Gref, special parliamentary hearings are being held, and a group of deputies are working on the questions of entry into the WTO, which directly controls the negotiating process and participates in it. The draft laws and amendments in accordance with the WTO demands, prepared by the State Duma, undergo an expert examination there first, accelerating the work and bringing Russia's entry into the WTO closer, Mr. Gref noted
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