A two-day session of WTO member countries is to open today. Russia’s application for entry into the WTO will be considered at the WTO headquarters in Geneva. This round of the talks is to be crucial for Russia. A new WTO member, China, will take part in the talks for the first time. Russia is supposed to become WTO member by next year, by the the next WTO ministers’ conference. However, it will be possible only if important problems are settled by then.
BBC informs that Russia’s new code of laws on commerce, relations between the federal and regional authorities, the opening of the Russian market by foreign telecommunication and financial companies, and subventions to the agricultural sector are to be discussed in Geneva. Particularly, Russia would like to stick to its current line in the sphere and support food export. At the same time, several WTO members insist on Russia’s reduction of exports.
Unlike the Russian government, Duma deputies are not sure that WTO membership will be favorable for Russia. That is why Russia’s Minister for Economic Development and Trade, German Gref, is invited to Duma’s session on February 13 to deliver a report on the social and economic consequences of Russia’s entry into WTO and activities for the development of the Russian production sphere.
Translated by Maria Gousseva
In the photo by AP: WTO assembly hall in Geneva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/01/23/35903.html