Yesterday, while speaking live on air in a program of The Echo of Moscow radio, Alexander Livshitz, Russia's former Minister of Economy, said Russia should join the World Trade Organisation in a hurry. He allowed himself to be quoted as saying, 'If Russia were in the WTO, something could be probably done about those in the European Union who have been trying to pressure us'. And further, 'If negotiations concerning Russia's joining the WTO are not completed sooner then the middle or end of 2004, the whole negotiating process will have to be restarted anew'.
Mr. Livshitz continued saying that, 'All Russian producers of goods and services must immediately explain to the negotiators what it is they want. Otherwise all decisions will be voluntarist and political, while everything that remains unclear will be swept off the table. The principle there will be 'whoever is not on time is too late'.