MOSCOW, November 16 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia will throw its weight behind Kazakhstan’s and Belarus’s application for the membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to enable them complete this process as soon as possible, the director of the trading negotiations department at the Economic Development Ministry, Maxim Medvedkov, told a news conference at Itar-Tass.
Medvedkov, Russia’s chief negotiator at the WTO accession talks, said that originally Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan had wished to complete the accession process simultaneously, but in practice this did not work, because Russia was one year ahead of Kazakhstan and two years ahead of Belarus in the negotiating process.
Medvedkov recalled that the WTO accession process was “strictly structured and there is no way of skipping certain stages.”
At the same time he remarked that “our partners in the Customs Union will have it far easier than we did, because Russia has for the past two years discussed the most complicated set of issues related to the formation of the customs union.”
The chief Russian delegate said that many countries were in the process of conducting WTO accession talks. Alongside Kazakhstan and Belarus there are also Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Sudan. Russia after its accession will participate in working groups that formulate the terms of their accession to that international organization.