MINSK, November 4 (Itar-Tass) —— Belarus will resume negotiations on the accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2011 or January 2012 if there are no political impediments from the EU and the U.S., Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Guryanov told the national parliament on Friday.
“We slowed down the negotiations on the entry into the WTO in 2005 for a number of reasons, political disagreements with the EU and the U.S.,” he said. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry “was informed by them that there were no political impediments to the Belarusian trade negotiations at present.”
To a large degree, the position of the European Union and the United States is determined by the accelerated entry of Russia into the WTO, Guryanov said.
Russia confirms its readiness to provide comprehensive assistance and political support to the Belarusian trade negotiations, he noted.
Earlier Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan planned their simultaneous entry into the WTO as members of the Customs Union, but the admission would now be separate, he said. “The final goal is the Customs Union entry into the WTO,” he added.
Belarus does not worry about the Russian nearing membership in the WTO, the deputy minister said. Belarusian and Russian trade regulations are unified within the Customs Union, and the latter’s laws are fully adapted to the WTO norms. “Even if Russia and Kazakhstan become WTO members more rapidly, they will be interested in the acceleration of the trade talks for Belarus,” he said.