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Saturday, July 15, 2006

No WTO For Russia -- Russian Diplomats Exposed Egegious, Boldfaced Liars

RIA Novosti reports that there will be no WTO deal for Russia despite the insane pronouncements to the contrary of arrogant Russian diplomats who thought they could play the U.S. for a fool (let's call them what they are, boldfaced propagandistic lies; the Moscow Times reported: "The two sides . . . differed in their assessments of the talks, with Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin saying Thursday afternoon that all disagreements were settled while U.S. officials insisted that more discussions were required."). Once, again, Russia has egg on its face and nothing to show for its grandiose schemes. A major PR victory for Georgia and the Kremlin opposition, which had opposed the pact. First a blast of attacks from every side (Canada, Germany, UK, U.S., European Parliament) and then the capper, no pretty wrapped up gift for Little Prince Vladimir. Maybe next time the Kremlin will think twice before it allows itself to believe it can dupe the West just like in the old Soviet days.

ST. PETERSBURG, July 15 (RIA Novosti)-Russia and the United States should complete negotiations on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization by the end of October, the economic development and trade minister said Saturday.

"We agreed that the protocol on the completion of bilateral negotiations will be signed by the end of October, and multilateral negotiations will be completed by the end of March," German Gref said, adding Russia's chances joining WTO remained "high" and what the Russian and U.S. presidents planned to see the WTO protocol signed by the end of October.

President Vladimir Putin said Saturday Russia would continue to work with the United States, including on WTO accession, while upholding Russia's economic interests.

The president, speaking at a joint news conference with his U.S. counterpart George W. Bush after their meeting in advance of the G8 summit, said: "We will continue working together, maintaining our interests - the interests of our developing our economies."

President Bush said he wanted the WTO agreement with Russia to be approved by U.S. Congress.

Russia's chief negotiator at the WTO talks, Maxim Medvedkov, said earlier that Russia and the U.S. would not sign a bilateral protocol on Russia's WTO bid in the near future.

"The document will not be signed either before, or after the [G8] summit," Maxim Medvedkov said, adding that Russian and U.S. experts would continue talks.

The U.S. remains the only country out of the 58-member Working Party on Russia's accession with which Moscow has yet to sign a bilateral protocol. The issue of access to Russia's financial services market has been the main stumbling block in Russia's bilateral negotiations with the U.S. Other issues include intellectual property rights, import duties and agricultural subsidies.

"Despite numerous attempts of experts in recent months, and of delegation leaders in the last two days, we have failed to find ways to resolve contentious issues," he said, adding that certain progress had been reached on certain problems.

"Until we agree on the whole package, it is as if we have not agreed on any issues," he said.
He said all WTO negotiations, both on the bilateral and multilateral level, would be completed before the start of next year.

"The lack of agreements with the United States will not impede our plans," he said, adding that the plan's implementation should proceed on terms suitable for Russia.

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