Russia may enter into WTO before end of this year



Russia 's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be completed by the end of this year, a senior Russian trade official said at an Internet conference on Friday.

The multilateral negotiations will resume in Geneva this July and may lead to the completion of the negotiations, Maxim Medvedkov, trade negotiations department chief at the Economic Development and Trade Ministry, was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying.

"A round of negotiations with Vietnam will take place in Moscow next week. We hope to complete the negotiations, as we have good prerequisites for doing that," Medvedkov said.

Negotiations with Cambodia have also entered the final stage, he said. "We will need to meet a number of domestic formalities and then, I hope, we will sign a protocol on the completion of negotiations with Cambodia ," he said.

According to Medvedkov , Georgia may not block the Russian accession. "Firstly, that would not meet the Georgian interests. Secondly, the legal architecture of the WTO makes it impossible to block anyone's entry. There had been countries at war with WTO member states but they joined the organization just the same," he said.

A final estimate of possible consequences of the Russian entry into the WTO for the domestic industries will be released in August, he said.

Russia is the largest economy still outside the Geneva-based world trade body. It signed a bilateral WTO agreement with the United States last year, clearing the last major hurdle to its accession.