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June 29, 2022

Russian WTO accession may be delayed

If issues like tariffs on cars assembled in Russia remained unresolved, it would be impossible to get an agreement, Nabiullina said.

Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) could be delayed for several years if talks involving the Russian delegation do not succeed in resolving all the remaining issues, Russia’s Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said on Saturday, Ria Novosti informs.

“We have to agree all the problematic issues by the end of July,” Nabiullina said, adding that among the thorniest questions were tariffs on cars assembled in Russia, support for the agricultural sector and veterinary and phytosanitary control. Her comments echoed Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, who said on Friday that Russia’s accession to the WTO could be drawn out if the remaining issues were not resolved in the next few weeks.

She recalled that all the major issues had to be sorted out this year, so that next year only the formalities of the process remained. If issues like tariffs on cars assembled in Russia remained unresolved, it would be impossible to get an agreement, she said.

“We either get a broad approach, or there will be a long pause,” she said.

Asked whether she thought a resolution was likely, Nabiullia said: “I am an optimist. At least, we are doing all we can to get an agreement.”

Russia applied to join the WTO’s predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), in June 1993 and its USD 1.5 trillion economy is by far the largest economy outside the 153-member Organization.

President Dmitry Medvedev said last week there was a “very high chance” that Russia would become a WTO member in 2011 but complained about delays in negotiations.

Several months ago, Joe Biden, US Vice President, said the United States strongly supports Russia’s accession to the WTO, and that they were working with Russian negotiators in Geneva to move the process forward. “I think we’re making real progress, we’re making real progress on bilateral issues that have caused friction in the past”, Biden added.

Gazprom estimates a price of USD 500 for the gas exported to Europe in 2012

On another topic, Russian company Gazprom estimates a price above USD 500 for 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas it will export to Europe in the first quarter of 2012, said the chairman of the holding, Aleksei Miller, during the International Economic Forum in Sankt Petersburg, RIA Novosti announces, quoted by Realitatea.net. Most forum participants estimated a gas price of USD 300-400 for 1,000 cubic meters. Miller however disagreed, as he expects the price to be higher.

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