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MOSCOW, October 2 (Itar-Tass) — Russia will participate for the first time in the General Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a full-fledged WTO member on October 3, a source in the Russian Ministry of Economic Development told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
Head of the department of trading negotiations of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development Maxim Medvedkov, who was the chief Russian negotiator at the Russian WTO entry talks, will head the Russian delegation.
The Russian delegation in Geneva will begin first consultations with the WTO partners on mutual claims over the fulfilment of the commitments, which Russia had assumed during the Russian WTO entry talks, and stemming from the WTO rules for other countries towards Russia. For instance, Russia is dissatisfied with the fact that several WTO member-countries continue to apply the restrictive measures over the supplies of Russian products to the markets of these countries. Meanwhile, the WTO voiced its claims over the car recycling tax introduced in Russia and high import duties left in effect on some products and etc.
Meanwhile, the working group on Kazakhstan’s accession in the WTO is to meet on October 5. Russia gives a full-scale support to hold the Kazakhstan WTO entry talks.
Russia became the 156th WTO member on August 22, 2012 after many years of negotiations with the organization. The Russian Ministry of Economic Development noted that Russia’s accession in the WTO is primarily the stability of the terms of operation on the foreign markets, lower barriers in the trade and Russia’s possible participation in developing the rules of international economic cooperation.
The WTO Ministerial Conference takes all decisions at the top level in the WTO. The Conference meets at least once in two years. The WTO General Council is subordinate to the WTO Ministerial Conference. The Council is in charge of the current work and meets several times a year in the Geneva headquarters involving representatives of the WTO members, usually ambassadors and the heads of the delegations of the WTO states. The WTO General Council also has two special bodies: for the analysis of the trade policy and the settlement of the disputes. Meanwhile, the WTO General Council is supervising the committees for trade and development; on the restrictions related with the trade balance; on the budget, finances and administrative affairs.