Russia not hurt by WTO membership, will not revisit terms of accession - official

Russia's membership in the World Trade Organization, the first anniversary of which was on Wednesday, has not had a negative impact on the country's economy and there are no plans to reconsider the conditions of Russia's accession to the trade body, the director of trade negotiations at the Economic Development Ministry, Maxim Medvedkov said in an interview with Interfax.

Russia's membership in the World Trade Organization, the first anniversary of which was on Wednesday, has not had a negative impact on the country's economy and there are no plans to reconsider the conditions of Russia's accession to the trade body, the director of trade negotiations at the Economic Development Ministry, Maxim Medvedkov said in an interview with Interfax.

"The results [of the first year of Russia's WTO membership] do not go beyond the bounds of the expected. As we anticipated, WTO membership has not had any serious negative influence on the economy. There were spurts on certain markets, but they were more related to the emotional reaction of players," Medvedkov said.

He said the liberalization of import tariffs will continue gradually, "particularly in sensitive sectors, and all sectors have a sufficient reserve of time for adaptation."

"It's important that instruments of protection from extraordinary situations that any sectors of the economy can take advantage of have been created and remain in force. If imports will cause harm, it is possible to put into effect measures of temporary protection of the market that are administrated by the Customs Union," Medvedkov said.

He also said that companies can take advantage of adaptation programs - these issues are considered by a special working group coordinated by the Economic Development Ministry.

"There were many petitions to this group, but following their review most were deemed to have no relation to the WTO, in other words the sectors and companies were having problems not due to the reduction of import tariffs, but for other reasons unrelated to the WTO," Medvedkov said.

He said Russia does not plan to ask the WTO to reconsider any conditions of accession to the organization.

"We can't and won't reconsider the conditions of our membership - there are no grounds for this. Tariff obligations could theoretically be adjusted, but in a pinpoint manner, in regard to a very limited number of goods. I repeat, many different instruments remain at our disposal that could be used without appealing to the WTO," Medvedkov said.

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