European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy does not think the talks concerning Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation have reached a deadlock.
"They have their ups and downs like any other talks. The charm of Russian negotiations is that they have more ups and downs than any other country we've negotiated with," Lamy told journalists on Thursday.
Talks about joining the WTO are a difficult thing, more difficult than joining NATO, he said. The negotiating process is not always simple.
In his opinion, the positions Russia and the European Union hold on accession to the WTO are compatible enough. There's no question of Russia and the European Union having incompatible positions. The WTO is an organisation, which gives you various advantages when you join it, but you have to pay a price to get those advantages. We're deciding together with Russia what this price should be like, he said.
According to Lamy, the EU has assumed the central role in negotiations with Russia as its main trade partner. "We don't make any excessive demands where Russia is concerned. The fact is, there is no definite mechanism for joining the WTO. Every case is handled separately. When it comes to Russia, we make the same demands we have already made, and Russia asserts it is ready to make advances, the trade commissioner concluded.