Russia wants its domestic market protected as it is entering the World Trade Organization, pointed out Maxim Medvedkov, Deputy to the Economic Development and Trade Minister of Russia. Mr. Medvedkov leads the Russian delegation at negotiations on the country's WTO accession. As he spoke Monday at parliamentary hearings in the State Duma (the lower house of Russia's federal legislature), Mr. Medvedkov said the import tariffs must not be too low. On the other hand, he noted that WTO regulations permit the adoption of anti-dumping measures against foreign exports if there is a threat to the domestic market. Mr. Medvedkov said that WTO membership could boost Russia's competitiveness on foreign markets. Speaking about the recognition of Russia as a market economy by the United States and the European Union, Mr. Medvedkov said that American and European partners would not likely acknowledge the status until after Russia joined the WTO. It normally takes the U.S. and the EU a long time to solve this issue, he explained. And as to when Russia is supposed to take on commitments as a full-fledged WTO member, the deputy minister said that the WTO accession negotiations would continue into next year and 2003.
After it turned out that Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov included the Fonbet betting company in the list of backbone enterprises that can count on state support, everyone started talking about these bookmakers.