Lukashenko orders Belarus communications market liberalised

MINSK, June 12 (Itar-Tass) -- Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko urged the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Information Technology to meet conditions for accession to the World Trade Organisation.

"First of all it is necessary to liberalise the communications market and ban cross subsidies for various services in this field," the president said on Monday.

"Technical progress in the field of information technology is moving rapidly around the world, and Belarus must not lag behind in this race," he warned.

Belarus applied for admission to the WTO in January 1995. Since then eight meetings of the working group on accession have been held. The group has also begun negotiations with WTO member states. Bilateral negotiations have been completed successfully with five of them - China, Turkey, Cuba, Armenia, and Moldova.

At the same time, Lukashenko has repeatedly said that the process has been slowed down by double standards in Western Europe and the United States.