Russia and Saudi Arabia to meet for WTO talks in Geneva



The Russian delegation will arrive on Wednesday in Geneva to hold negotiations with Saudi Arabia on Russia 's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Russia 's chief WTO negotiator said.
The bilateral talks will focus on access to the Russian market. "These will be the first wide-ranging negotiations with Saudi Arabia to be based on an inquiry, sent to us at the beginning of August, regarding a variety of goods and services," Maxim Medvedkov said.

The parties will also hold two-day multilateral consultations to define the terms and the framework of the next meeting of a working party, to be held in October, on Russia 's accession to the WTO.

Russia has been seeking WTO membership since September 2005, and needs to complete bilateral talks with those WTO members which still have trade issues with Moscow , as well as conclude multilateral discussions within the WTO Working Party of 50 nations.

The latest round of talks on Russia 's WTO bid was held in Geneva in late July and focused on customs regulations and free trade zones. Russia 's state agricultural subsidies were also high on the agenda. WTO members consider Russia 's projected subsidies of $9.2 billion per year to be excessive. Earlier this month, Moscow concluded a bilateral agreement with Cambodia on Russia 's accession to the WTO. Russia now has to sign agreements with Georgia and Saudi Arabia .