Deputy head of the progovernmental State Duma faction Unity and vice-chairman of the Duma budget committee Vladislav Reznik holds the view that the deputies must legislatively back the efforts of the president and the government to ensure entry of Russia into the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
In a conversation with newsmen Reznik noted that today Russia is the only large world economy which is not a member of the WTO.
The Parliamentarian also recalled that a new round of talks within the WTO framework will be held in 2004. "If we are not full and equal members of the WTO by that time, during these talks we will not manage to get a good place under the economic sun for ourselves", Reznik said.
He stressed that he "fully agrees with the president that it is necessary for Russia to enter the WTO" and that "contrary to the claims by the opponents of Russia's entry into the WTO, the bulk of Russian business" is intent to do so. As the deputy said, "only those who feel to be weak and non-competitive come out against Russia's membership of the World Trade Organisation".
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969