MOSCOW, February 22 (Itar-Tass) — Terms for Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) "are among the best for our country," Minister of Agriculture Yelena Skrynnik said in an interview published in Rossiiskaya Gazeta on Wednesday.
The Minister pointed out positive aspects of accession to the WTO: "These include, first of all, the possibility of increase in (financial) support for agriculture. To Russia, this support is set at $9,000 million". The current respective amount is $5,700 million."
Second, to Russia, there is no limitation on measures of State support for the construction of housing, the development of manpowe potential, the modernization of infrastructure and land reclamation. This, the Agriculture Minister said, is the so-called green basket. That is, Russia has a right to spend for these purposes as many resouces as the budget allows."
"I am convinced that if one approaches these matters in earnest, is getting ready, and studies the situation from the viewpoint of regions, the effect will be only positive," the Minister emphasized.
"Neither can I bypass yet another aspect connected with the WTO: Criticism is often expressed that a large amount of subquality imports, meat, for example, can flood the Russian market. I am telling straight: Russia still maintains at the previous levels the quotas for the import of poultrymeat, beef and pork,"Skrynnik said.
The Minister also regards as an advantage of the country's entry into the WTO the fact that Russia can still conduct anti-dumping investigations. Besides, there will be a decrease in import duties by 2.4 percent on average.
"The government has, of course, a clear-cut strategy to adapt the Russian agriculture as quickly as possible to the WTO terms," Skrynnik pointed out.
"I emphasize once again: our task is to consolidate (summon our resources) so as to turn out qualitative competitive produce and export it," the Agriculture Minister pointed out.