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Russia reaches deal with EU over WTO application

The European Union and Russia have reached agreement for the European Union to support Russia’s application to join the World Trade Organization, the EU announced today. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said he believes the United States and Russia will also be able to resolve their differences over a number of issues, including agriculture.
Karel DeGucht

EU Trade Commissioner Karel DeGucht
WTO members are trying to resolve issues with Russia so that the issue of Russian accession could be handled at a meeting of WTO member country trade ministers in December in Geneva.

EU Trade Commissioner Karel DeGucht said a deal had been reached that would help to prevent EU car industry jobs from moving to Russia, Reuters reported.

Russia and Georgia still have issues to resolve surrounding Russia’s application, Reuters noted.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk
In a statement, Kirk said the announcement “marks an important advance in Russia’s effort to conclude multilateral negotiations so that Russia may be formally invited to join the WTO in December.”

“We share the EU’s strong interest in seeing Russia and Georgia reach a mutually agreeable resolution of trade-related issues, and encourage both sides to continue their cooperative efforts to that end, working with officials of the government of Switzerland,” Kirk said.

“With regard to the multilateral process, a number of important issues remain to be resolved,” he added. “These include final agreement on Russia’s automotive investment program, Russia’s commitment to join the WTO Information Technology Agreement, and certain issues related to trade in agriculture. We have full confidence in a successful resolution of outstanding issues soon.”