Russia's Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has started discussions on Russia's joining the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
In an exclusive RIA Novosti interview, Kudrin, who arrived in Paris for a working visit on Thursday evening, emphasised that the present session of the Russia-OSCE liaison committee will be of "particular significance", since the government is now "formulating Russia's OECD position".
At present, the vice-premier recalled, Russia has observer status in the OECD and takes part in a number of its committees and working groups.
"We are currently preparing a summary of our legislation and terms for entering the OECD in order to assess stages and deadlines, But actually I arrived here on a mission to start a discussion of ways of joining," Kudrin said, On Friday, he will meet with the organisation's Secretary-General Donald Johnston.
Then the Russia-OECD liaison committee will have an annual meeting in the Paris headquarters of this prestigious international organisation. In the afternoon Kudrin will have talks with EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy. The two men will examine Russia's entry into the World Trade Organisation /WTO/.
As seen by Kudrin, the session "will address a series of big problems, including the general economic situation, progress of Russian reforms, and trade relations".
The vice-premier did not rule out the possibility of considering "such special questions as effective state control, the state of the financial sector, and anti-monopoly and competitive legislation".
Kudrin stressed that "over the past two years Russia has done a good deal to harmonise its legislation with world norms." For example, the government has "already submitted to the State Duma drafts of all laws required to join the WTO". "A considerable part of them" has already been passed and "the rest will be adopted this year," Kudrin said.
Since "two-thirds of OECD entry terms match WTO entry conditions," the vice-premier said, it can be said that much of the road to joining the OECD has already been traversed by Russia.
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