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Belarus may join WTO in one year — foreign ministry

July 16, 2015, 12:03 UTC+3 MINSK
All Eurasian Economic Union member states except for Belarus have already joined WTO
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©  EPA/PHOTO KEYSTONE/Laurent Gillieron

MINSK, July 16. /TASS/. Belarus hopes that the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member countries will support Minsk during the process of accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Guryanov told TASS on Thursday.

"If everything goes right, and politicians do not interfere, we will be able to complete all technical work in one year, and then much will depend on political movements and reactions of WTO key members," Guryanov said. Minsk "counts on support from EAEU colleagues" in this, he added.

Guryanov noted that all EAEU member states except for Belarus have already joined WTO, reminding that Kazakhstan has recently completed negotiations on accession to the organization and will have to ratify the agreement to officially join the world body. "Two issues are important to us - how Kazakhstan’s commitments to WTO and EAEU will be assessed. We will have to discuss these issues seriously at the session of the Eurasian Economic Commission," Guryanov said.

Preparations for launching the process of Belarus’ accession to WTO are underway, he noted. "We received a signal from WTO secretariat that they want to focus more closely on Belarus. Everyone understands that it is not exactly right to keep one member country of such a large integration association as EAEU, out of WTO," the deputy foreign minister stressed.

Guryanov said that Minsk continues bilateral negotiations with several countries. "We hope that the working group on Belarus’ accession to WTO will be more active," he noted.

Belarus submitted an application to join WTO in 1993. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry noted that the country de facto complies with most WTO norms that are in line with EAEU and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) regulations.

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