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UPDATED: 21:15, May 21, 2004
Russia, EU sign protocol on Russia's accession to WTO
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Russia and the European Union (EU) on Friday signed a protocol marking the end of Russia's talks with the EU on the country's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Russian news agencies reported.

The document, which sets out conditions for access of Russian goods to the EU market and vice versa, was signed by Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref and EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy, at the Russian-EU summit in Moscow.

Russia remains the largest economy outside the WTO, partly because of its subsidies on energy and agriculture sectors.

The EU wants Russia to increase domestic oil and gas prices to the European average immediately as a condition for the country's entry into the WTO.

The EU member nations are holding collective talks with Russia on its accession to the WTO, which currently has 147 members. Russian has already finalized such talks with some ten countries.

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