Source Pravda.Ru

Government to discuss Russia's position in talks about accession to the WTO

During its Thursday session, the Russian government will consider matters concerning Russia's position in the talks dealing with its accession to the World Trade Organization.

According to a source in the Russian ministry of economic development and trade, Russia's ultimate goal is to be accepted to the WTO on conditions it considers to be the best.

With that in mind, Russia is planning to join the WTO on condition that it be able to use effective measures to protect the interests of its manufacturers, and that this position be accepted by the WTO.

Special importance is being attached to so-called "transit periods," which certain Russian markets could use to adapt themselves to new competitors once the country has joined the WTO.

During a recent session of the Entrepreneurship Council, Russian Premier Mikhail Kasyanov expressed his satisfaction with the fact that the country's talks for WTO membership had become "more practice than theory." The notable feature of the Russian government's position in WTO membership talks is that the top priority status is given not to the concrete time of accession but to its qualitative part. The position Russian entrepreneurs hold on Russia's accession to the WTO has lately become closer to that held by the government.

In Kasyanov's opinion, it is necessary to work out all the details of the accession and decide what to do about aircraft industry, agriculture, metals market, and other "delicate" spheres.

WTO Secretary-General Michael Moore has been repeatedly heard saying that the problem of Russia's accession to the WTO could be solved next September. This means Russia may enter on its duties of a WTO member in 2004.