WTO accession of Russia's customs bloc underway, says Putin

10:57, October 16, 2010      

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Accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan has been underway according to the agreements reached, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

"Speaking about moving toward WTO accession, we meant two possible options: either joint accession or accommodation of the principles of the WTO accession," the Interfax news agency quoted Putin as saying.

"At the end of the day, we have agreed that we coordinate all principal parameters which are sensitive for our economics, among us, and based on these agreements, we have resolved the issues of WTO accession," Putin said, stressing that Russia did nothing beyond the frames of those agreements.

He stressed that Russia had been in active contact with Belarus and Kazakhstan, and noted that creation of the common economic space has been going faster than expected.

Putin said the three sides discussed 17 agreements, most of which have been either ready or nearly ready.

He admitted that there were "objective difficulties" but the movement to the final aim "has been faster than it was possible even to suppose."

The Russian head of government pointed out that the three countries had planned to form the judicial base of the common market in 2010-2011.

"Start of the common economic space is a step in direction of modern open economy, more stable to the oscillations of the global environment," Putin said.

In 2009, Moscow, Minsk and Astana announced that they were going to join the WTO as a single entity. However, Moscow claimed later that Russia might seek membership into the WTO separately, depending on which way turned out faster.

Russia, which has been seeking WTO membership for more than 15 years, is the largest economy remaining outside the global trade watchdog.

Source: Xinhua


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