Russian Vice-Premier and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin is sure that Russia "will not lose" from joining the World Trade Organisation. He believes that this will signal new opportunities in trade with other countries and for the expansion of business. Kudrin recalled that now Russia's import duty rate is 11 percent on an average. Conducting WTO-entry negotiations, Russia insists on 20 percent. To Kudrin, after seven years, when the transition period ends, the import duty rate in Russia can be between 10 and 11 percent, as now. Meanwhile, the United States and the European Union have an average of 4 percent, or two to three times less than Russia. On certain industrial sectors special negotiations will be held, Kudrin stressed. They are aviation technology, pharmaceuticals, farming, etc.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia