The threat of a trade war is looming between Russia and the European Union, said Economics Minister German Gref in an interview with a Rosbalt journalist during a break at the fifth international conference entitled 'competitiveness and modernization of the Russian economy' today. He specified that such a threat appeared in connection with the upcoming expansion of the European Union. On May 1, the EU will induct 10 new member countries and as a result Russia will lose its preferred trade status with a number of Eastern European countries and the Baltic States. Gref said Russia could lose up to USD 150 million from the expansion.
Nevertheless, Gref said his ministry was 'regularly and fruitfully conducting talks with the EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy.' 'In the next month everything could be settled with great advantage for Russia,' said Gref.