Belarus calls for easing WTO accession regulations

The Belarusian deputy foreign minister has called for the easing of requirements for accession to the World Trade Organization.

Addressing the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Sergei Aleinik said negotiations on the accession of some 30 countries, including Belarus, to the world trade club had been held for more than a decade, but the results were minor.

"Is in normal?" the Belarusian official asked world diplomats at the UN headquarters in New York. "It is equal to discrimination of some states. That is why we assume that regulations for accession of interested countries to this organization should be reviewed significantly towards easing."

Aleinik has expressed concern over the wealthy countries' tightening stance on the issue, which has hampered efforts by developing and middle-income countries willing to join the WTO.

Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus notified the WTO in June 2009 of their intention to join the world trade club as a customs union. Four months later, the three former Soviet republics announced they would resume talks on WTO accession separately, but from synchronized positions.

In August Russian President Dmitry Medvedev urged ministers to complete WTO accession talks in September. Last week, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said Russia would successfully complete WTO accession talks in the next few weeks.

Russia has been in negotiations for WTO membership for 17 years, compared with the average accession period of five to seven years and is the only major economy outside of the global trade body.

UNITED NATIONS, September 29 (RIA Novosti)


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