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WTO accession for Russia should not be seen as "a prize for good behavior" President Medvedev said

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday the United States should understand that Moscow does not view admission to the WTO as "a prize for good behavior."

WTO accession for Russia should not be seen as "a prize for good behavior" President Medvedev said

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday the United States should understand that Moscow does not view admission to the WTO as "a prize for good behavior." "I think it is about time for everyone, including our U.S. partners, to realize that Russia's WTO membership is not a carrot that can be constantly offered to us as a prize for good behavior." Medvedev said at a news conference after a Russia-EU summit in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. "WTO membership is simply a necessary step for us to become a fully-fledged integral player in international economic processes,"


He said it was "rather strange" that Russia was the only G-20 country outside the WTO. "Who is the worse off for that?" he asked. Medvedev said Russia's positions on WTO admission had not changed, despite its plans to build a customs union with Kazakhstan and Belarus. "We believe that without this [WTO membership] our state is unable to develop normally in the global economic space," the Russian president said. He said last Tuesday Russia was counting on support from the U.S. political and business community for its membership and that the country was "tired of sitting in the waiting room trying to join."


Russia has been in negotiations for WTO membership for over 16 years and is the only major economy outside of the global trade body. Medvedev has admitted Russia still has problems with intellectual property rights protection, a major impediment to WTO accession, but says tackling this issue is a priority for the Russian government. In June 2009, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus notified the WTO of their intention to join the world trade club as a customs union. Four months later, the three former Soviet republics announced they would resume talks on WTO accession separately, but from synchronized positions.

Source : RIA Novosti


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