WTO provides Russia with pluses for protecting domestic agro market - Russian Agriculture Minister

Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) brought the country many advantages for protecting the domestic agriculture market, Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov said at a press conference in Berlin.

"We view WTO accession as satisfactory and believe that it provides more pluses for protecting the domestic market," he said.

Membership in the international trade community "provides additional tools that need to be developed," Fyodorov said.  "In general, they [the WTO] have armed us."

Sergei Dankvert, the head of Russia's veterinary and phytosanitary oversight body Rosselkhoznadzor, said at the press conference that it has become easier for Russia to protect its agriculture market in the new conditions endowed upon it by the WTO.

"Many people thought that it would be more complicated for us after WTO accession, but at this stage I can say that it has become easier, since it provided the possibility to effectively respond to various discriminatory measures [in agricultural trade] in relation to our country," Dankvert said.

In particular, a number of discriminatory measures are emanating from the European Union. "We will try to respond to them in equal measure," he said.

In addition, WTO membership will make it possible for Russia to join in the restrictive measures of other countries. "We joined up to measures that the EU took against the U.S. in connection with the use of ractopamine," Dankvert said.

The EU has a ban on imports of meat products that were made with the use of this muscle growth stimulator.

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