Finns back WTO entry for Russia

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Series Details Vol.7, No.30, 26.7.01, p8
Publication Date 26/07/2001
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Date: 26/07/01

By Jyrki Karvinen

FINNISH Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen says that Russia's negotiations to join the World Trade Organisation are in better shape than is generally believed and that the EU should speed up the talks. Attending the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland, Lipponen and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov stressed that Russia must be accepted into the WTO on the same terms as other members. Lipponen said he would urge EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy to hasten the WTO talks with Russia.

EU relations have played a more central role in Russia's foreign policy since Vladimir Putin took office. The EU-Russian summit during the Belgian presidency is expected to advance the European Economic Space programme, which Lipponen said will be pursued by a high-level committee led by external relations chief Chris Patten.

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