Russia hails new document on WTO accession

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Moscow, Apr 29 (UNI) Russia today welcomed a new report coordinated with its partners in Geneva on the progress of the working party for the country's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The coordinated text of the report ''has enabled us to make a big step forward and secured the support of trade partners,'' Russia's chief negotiator Maxim Medvedkov told RIA Novosti news agency after the completion of the latest round of multilateral WTO negotiations in Geneva.

The old version of the WTO working party report was issued back in 2004.

The new document summarising progress on the long-running multilateral negotiations on Russia's accession to the WTO was adopted despite Georgia's demand that Moscow reverse its decision made earlier in April to strengthen ties with Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Russia has been seeking WTO membership since 1993. So far, it has concluded bilateral talks with over 60 states but still needs to complete discussions with the WTO members - Saudi Arabia and Georgia - that have trade disagreements with Russia.

On the other hand, not every Western country welcomes Russia's advance towards the WTO, saying the country's economy is not ready for its membership.

According to European Commissioner Peter Mandelson, Russia is yet to adjust a few branches of economy to the WTO standards and all changes cannot happen overnight.

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