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> Supachai Panitchpakdi’s speeches
The Minister of Economic Development and Trade of
the Russian Federation, German Gref, addressed the XXVIII meeting of the
Working Party for the accession of Russia to the WTO, Friday 24th of June
Minister Gref asked Members for flexibility and understanding in
view of the difficulties of transforming Russia into a market economy in a
short period of time. He reaffirmed Russia's commitment not to ask for
transitional periods to comply with fundamental WTO principles like the SPS
and TBT agreements. He also expressed hope that an agreement can be reached by
the Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong in early December.
But the chairman of the Working Party, ambassador Stefan Johannesson, of
Iceland, expressed some concern about the current pace of work, and some
Members said that to accelerate the work it is essential that Russia provides
new material to update several chapters of the draft Working Party report
that need revision.