No Free Ride Into WTO, Lamy Tells Russia



Russia has to make sacrifices if it wants to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and is not yet in a position to sign up, WTO director-general Pascal Lamy said on Friday. "To get into the WTO you have to pay your entrance ticket. It's not free," Lamy told France Info radio. Russia has been negotiating to join the WTO since the mid-1990s and remains the largest economy outside the 151-member club. Troubled relations with the European Union are complicating its entry talks.

"To benefit from the protection of all the WTO rules, you have to pay your way by opening your market and offering a medical certificate regarding your legislation," Lamy said. "It's a bit complicated. It's a bit long and the Russians aren't quite at the end of road yet." He gave no estimate of when the negotiations might finish.

Russia said in January it aimed to complete the accession process before the end of 2007