|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.9, 1.3.01, p21|
RUSSIA must resolve outstanding disputes with the EU if it wants to advance its bid to join the World Trade Organisation, European Commission officials have warned.
Swedish Trade Minister Leif Pagrotsky has pledged support for Moscow's bid for World Trade Organisation (WTO) membership during Stockholm's presidency of the EU, which ends in June.
But Union executive officials say Russia's progress will hinge on settling key bilateral trade issues.
"We have to get rid of a number of trade irritants first," said one. The Union is Russia's third-largest trading partner but economic relations have been marred by disputes ranging from a Russian tax on exports of scrap metal, duties on alcohol and charges imposed on EU airlines to fly over Russian territory.
Pagrotsky has said Moscow's bid to join the WTO is "an important step for Russia on the path towards fuller integration into international economic cooperation".
Sweden is planning a high-level conference in Moscow at the end of March to spell out to Russian leaders the implications of joining the WTO. Economic concerns will top the agenda when Russian President Vladimir Putin meets EU leaders at the Stockholm summit in March.
Russia must resolve outstanding disputes with the EU if it wants to advance its bid to join the World Trade Organisation, European Commission officials have warned.
|Countries / Regions||Russia|