UAE wishes Russia to join WTO soon - Medvedkov



The United Arab Emirates is interested in Russia 's early admission to the World Trade Organization, the chief Russian negotiator at the WTO admission talks, chief of the trading negotiations department at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Maxim Medvedkov, said after the first round of bilateral consultations, which began on Friday at the OAE's initiative.

Medvedkov said OAE representatives "showed interest in some aspects of our foreign trade policy and it was agreed the dialogue will be continued." "It is quite obvious, and our partners at the consultations have said so more than once, that the United Arab Emirates is interested in Russia 's membership of the World Trade Organization," he said. The chief Russian delegate explained that any WTO member can enter into negotiations with Russia , as well as with any other applicant. "There have been such cases in the past and our partners were able to see for themselves that the agreed terms of Russia 's admission to the WTO were acceptable for them," he said. "We have not completed negotiations with Saudi Arabia and Georgia yet. Further plans will be specified on Monday, December 17, at a meeting with the chief of the working group."

Medvedkov voiced the hope that when the consultations are over, there will be greater clarity on the issue when Russia may join the WTO.

Russia , which currently enjoys the observer status in the World Trade Organization, applied for admission in December 1994. Bilateral talks have been underway in the working group. The negotiations with the United States were the longest (six years) and the protocol on their completion was signed on November 19, 2006 . Georgia in 2006 demanded that negotiations, completed in 2004, should be held anew "in connection with a worsening in Russia 's foreign trade rules in relations to Georgian exports."

Negotiations are in progress with Saudi Arabia , the last of the working group's member-countries still to put it signature to a protocol on completing bilateral consultations.

A final decision on Russia 's admission to the WTO is to be made by the organization's General Council on the basis of the working group's recommendations.