25 May 2010 21:05

Working group on Russia's accession to WTO resumes talks

MOSCOW. May 25 (Interfax) - A working group on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) has decided to resume talks, Russian chief WTO negotiator Maxim Medvedkov told Interfax.

"Based on results of informal multilateral consultations that took place on Tuesday [in Geneva], a decision has been made to resume negotiations on Russia's accession to the WTO," he said.

The participants in the consultations considered a memorandum on setting up a customs union, which, in the view of the working group members, "makes it possible to assess the customs union's basic principles, which gives reasons to resume the talks," Medvedkov said.

It was reported earlier that Russia had frozen the negotiating process on joining the WTO in summer 2009 after it decided to set up a customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan starting January 1, 2010, and negotiate joint WTO membership. This decision was later revised, and the customs union members agreed to negotiate WTO membership individually but proceeding from some common principles and position.