MOSCOW, September 19 (Itar-Tass World Service) — On Monday, a delegation of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development begins a series of supposedly final talks in Brussels on Russia's joining the World Trade Organization. The consultations of the working group on the Russian Federation ended successfully last week. Nevertheless, Russia is apprehensive that the process of gaining membership may be delayed, and not because of Georgia's position.
To complete the process successfully, Minister of economic development Elvira Nabiullina has to resolve two key issues with the EU: meat imports quotas and industrial car assembly regime, the "Kommersant” writes. Both issues are factors rather of domestic than of foreign policy, so WTO officials believe in successful completion of the talks in 2011, while Nabiullina is ready for the process to "drag for years."
Russia is yet to coordinate veterinary and phytosanitary norms, the regime of investments and industrial assembly of cars. Another moot point is the issue of agricultural subsidies. The main formal obstacle in foreign policy to Russia's WTO membership is the position of Georgia, protesting against Moscow's policy toward Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Switzerland, the mediator at Russian-Georgian talks, recently had a round of negotiations with Russia over the volume of subsidies for farmers. Perhaps, the results of these talks made the Economic Development Ministry doubt the prospects of Russia's soonest WTO accession. During the talks, Russia may attempt to win the support of a number of EU states to put "pressure " on Georgia.