Russian official says accession to WTO may be delayed

14:14, June 19, 2011      

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Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) could be delayed by years if some key issues could not be resolved in the next few weeks, a senior Russian official said on Saturday.

Elvira Nabiullina, Russia's minister of economic development, said on the sidelines of St. Petersburg Economic Forum that at least three major issues remained unresolved, including agricultural support, controls on the import of food and livestock and tariffs on cars assembled in Russia.

She added Russia's entry into the international organization could be put off by several years if it cannot sort out those thorny issues by the end of July in negotiations with several key WTO members.

Russia, which has been seeking WTO membership for more than 18 years, is the largest economy remaining outside the global trade body.

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