DAVOS, January 23. /ITAR-TASS/. The first part of a package of Russian-U.S. agreements on favorable treatment will be signed at the end of 2014, Russia's Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said after a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman within the World Economic Forum currently underway in Davos.
The other documents will be concluded in 2015, the Russian minister said.
“We can’t talk about agreements on a free trade zone because this issue is in the competence of the Customs Union. Russia and the United States can’t directly agree on the bilateral basis. I mean a series of agreements, which will give us an equivalent of a free trade zone agreement,” the minister said, adding, “These are agreements on the protection of investments and documents on technical regulation and phyto-sanitary surveillance.”
“It is very important for us to reach progress in this direction where we have the legal base to implement them,” Ulyukayev said.
Commenting on the U.S. variant, the minister said in order to adopt this proposal there were certain restrictions because the World Trade Organization conditions envisioned most favorable treatment in the field of trade in third countries. “Thus, we oblige to spread this to other 70 countries with whom we maintain bilateral relations,” the minister said.
Russia proposed another way - an agreement on economic integration, the protection of investments and trading of services. “We believe that such approach make it possible to go beyond restrictions where we didn’t move forward over several years,” he said.
The next meeting is scheduled to take place in Washington on February 26 that will involve Russian and U.S. officials and businessmen. Russia would like to submit several projects in such areas as trans-Arctic and trans-Pacific direct air service, infrastructural investment projects and interregional cooperation, Ulyukayev said.