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Protection of national markets should not run counter to WTO norms, says Medvedev

November 04, 2016, 22:00 updated at: November 05, 2016, 0:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia should use in full the agreements reached in the framework of the World Trade Organization because there is no better mechanism for Moscow now, Russian Prime Ministersaid

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MOSCOW, November 4. /TASS/. Countries when protecting their markets should not take steps that run counter to the international rules of trade, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with the Chinese Central Television (CCTV).

"Any government is motivated to support domestic producers and in this sense it has to consider measures to protect its market by hook or by crook," Medvedev said. "But these measures approved by national governments in various countries should not come into conflict with common regulations of world trade, including those of the World Trade Organization."

The Russian prime minister pointed out that protectionism was not "a new phenomenon," but "a response to some external challenges" and "the reverse side of the global growth of both national economies and the entire world economy."

Besides, Medvedev noted that anti-globalist sentiment existed in the world.

"One should admit that not only people who take to the streets with slogans share (this sentiment), but also some politicians, including in national governments," he said. "Henceforth, it triggers a desire to shield the markets and to get protected from international partners and to preserve status quo in the own market in every possible way," he emphasized.

Substituting WTO with surrogates "dangerous tendency"

Russia should use in full the agreements reached in the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) because there is no better mechanism for Moscow now, Medvedev said.

"We are now told: ‘you know, WTO is outdated, we should set up new trade alliances’. We do not agree with this. We should use in full all agreements that we reached at WTO. Yes, this is not a problem-free topic, and WTO is probably not an absolutely universal regulator, but we do not have anything better. Any attempts to substitute WTO with some surrogates is a dangerous tendency," Medvedev said.

Behind different protectionist measures, one can often find a desire to destroy the World Trade Organization and substitute it with something else, he added. "We are against that. We, as participants of WTO, should be led by the principles of international trade enshrined in WTO, even if those principles do not always positively affect the current situation for some reasons. In general, we should share the spirit of the World Trade Organization, in order to make right decisions," the prime minister noted.

He added that coordinating interests of national producers and maintaining competition will always be a difficult process, and it is necessary to find the middle ground. Russia is ready for that, he said.

"We are developing trade relations with all countries, with our Chinese friends. We are trying to develop large-scale relations, not only bilateral but also multilateral, in the framework of existing opportunities. We will give signals to other partners, so that they behave accordingly, instead of trying to sacrifice the principles of the World Trade Organization and modern principles of international trade to some political interests, some political programs," Medvedev explained.

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