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EU and Russia agree terms for Moscow's eventual WTO accession

24. October 2011. | 09:25

Source: Emg.rs

The EU’s Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht today announced that the last remaining bilateral issues for the EU in Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation have been resolved.

The EU’s Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht today announced that the last remaining bilateral issues for the EU in Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation have been resolved.

"We have struck a deal on the final outstanding bilateral issues, leaving the way open for Russia to join the WTO by the end of this year. This understanding will help to protect EU jobs in the car and car components' industry from moving to Russia", Commissioner De Gucht stated today. "There is now very little time left to reach a bilateral agreement between Georgia and Russia. I call on both parties to continue their efforts to find a solution in a spirit of compromise. The EU is ready to offer whatever help is necessary to resolve the issue."

As regards Russia's investment regime for car production, a balance has been found between the different concerns of European car companies that have already invested in Russia, European car and component companies that export to Russia, and Russia's desire, supported by the EU, to modernise its economy.

The result is an agreement on a compensation mechanism which will come in if exports of EU car parts to Russia fall as a result of the new investment regime. This will minimise the impact on EU jobs, particularly when it is considered against the overwhelming benefits and opportunities that Russia's WTO accession would bring EU companies in all sectors of the economy.

Good outcomes have also been achieved on the other outstanding issues: clearer rules for exporting agricultural products and foodstuffs to Russia, and a reliable quota regime for wood exports.

The EU has also secured a guarantee from Russia that an agreement to amend the system of Siberian Overflight payments, which is costly for EU airlines, will be implemented in the coming weeks.

The announcement today represents a key step in Russia's accession process. The negotiations will continue at the multilateral level in Geneva with the aim of concluding these key remaining issues very soon, which would enable Russia's accession to be agreed at the 8th WTO Ministerial Conference in December.

With respect to Georgia's outstanding request for more trade transparency, the EU has strongly supported the mediation efforts made by Switzerland over the past few months to resolve this issue and it is disappointing that the talks have so far not led to a solution. The EU supports the ongoing efforts and expresses its readiness to help provide its practical support in order to reach a solution quickly.


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24. October - 30. October 2011.