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Russia To Join WTO This Year

26 January 2006 , 11:12369
Russia is counting on joining the World Trade Organization by the end of 2006, the country?s Economy Minister German Gref said on Thursday, Jan. 26, reported.

After arriving in the Swiss resort town of Davos for an annual gathering of the world?s financial elite, German Gref said: ?We believe that we have good chances of completing the WTO accession process by the end of this year.?

During this year?s World Economic Forum, which will run through Jan. 29, Gref will meet with senior officials, including U.S. Trade Representatives Robert Portman, and European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson.

Earlier, the director of Russian Economy Ministry?s trade negotiations department, Maxim Medvedkov, told RIA Novosti that during the Davos forum Russia hopes to sign final WTO accession protocols with Switzerland and Brazil. Speaking on this issue, German Gref noted that Russia has been unable to reach final agreements with these countries, but expressed hope that he?ll be able to ?reach conclusion? on any remaining questions in the course of personal meetings with his colleagues.

Russia is yet to finish bilateral negotiations with four countries which make up the Working group on Russia?s accession to the WTO. These countries are the United States, Australia, Columbia and Switzerland. ?Our key task now is to conclude negotiations with the four remaining countries, and to prepare the fifth, final version of the report that would satisfy all of our partners,? the Russian Economy Minister said.


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