Russia will not join the agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on trade in civil aviation materiel. This was stated by Maxim Medvedkov, Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, addressing the round-table conference under the title of "The Problems of the Development of the Transport Complex in the Light of Russia's Entry into the WTO." The agreement on civil aviation materiel envisages the creation for its participants of a free trade zone for civil planes, helicopters and spare parts for them, as well as limited subsidies for the aviation industry. In the opinion of Russian experts, in case Russia joins this agreement, the Russian aviation industry would sustain tremendous losses.
As was pointed out by Maxim Medvedkov, Russia's non-joining the agreement on trade in civil aviation materiel is an official position of the Russian side in the context of the negotiations on entering the WTO. "This agreement is not obligatory for all WTO members," said he.
According to him, after joining the WTO Russia will use the so-called period of adaptation for a term of eight-nine years. In the course of this period a protective tariff will be applied to the finished articles of imported aviation materiel with the aim of supporting the interests of the Russian producers. At the same time, noted Maxim Medvedkov, "this does not concern those types of aircraft which are not produced in Russia," for instance, the planes which are used in the so-called business aviation. With regard to these types of planes, Russia is ready to grant easy terms, said Medvedkov.
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign