STAVROPOL, June 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would use all World Trade Organization (WTO) mechanisms to protect its markets and would conclude agreements on free trade zones with other countries only if that did not hurt the interests of domestic producers.
“We should certainly use all WTO instruments. I know that many WTO grandees and long-livers know all WTO tools which can be used to defend their economies and apply them without fail,” Putin said at a meeting with agricultural producers in Stavropol.
The same is true of free trade zones. “We need to be maximum punctual,” the Russian president went on to say.
He believed that some countries sought the creation of free trade zones with Russia with an aim to bring their goods to its vast market and consequently the Eurasian market after the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union.
“I would like to emphasize that all agricultural produces should know that we are not going to do anything without prior consultations with you. We are not going to make any decisions that will hurt your interests. We will create new free trade zones only if we see that they will have a balanced effect,” Putin told the Russian agricultural producers.
President Putin also disagreed that Russia should not stop all imports of dairy products from Ukraine for the reason of their poor quality.
His remark followed a proposal made by Andrei Danilenko, chairman of the board of the National Union of Milk Produces, at a conference on development of agriculture in Russia on Wednesday.
Danilenko said that the situation in Ukraine had affected the quality of its dairy products that had deteriorated and dropped below any standards. He suggested suspending all milk imports from that country.
“I can hardly agree that we should ban all milk and dairy imports from Ukraine because of the hard situation in that country. Perhaps, there are problems with concrete suppliers, which should be revealed,” Putin said adding it would be wrong to close the market to all Ukrainian producers indiscriminately.