WTO news: what’s been happening in the WTO

30 March 2001

Moore and Putin upbeat on Russia's membership bid

World Trade Organization Director-General, Mike Moore, met today with President Vladimir Putin to exchange views on the current state of the global trading system and prospects for an early accession of the Russian Federation to the WTO.

President Putin confirmed that the integration of Russia into the multilateral trading system was a top priority of the Russian Government. He said steps were being taken, including in the legislative field, to facilitate the negotiations under way and bring them to an early conclusion. The introduction of new legislation required under WTO Agreements was seen as an integral part of the general economic reform programme pursued by the Russian Government. The Director-General reiterated his support for rapid progress in the accession process and assured President Putin of the continuing support of the WTO for the Russian Federation's early membership. He stressed that the WTO Secretariat will continue to provide all possible forms of assistance to the Russian Government.

The Director-General was in Moscow to participate in a Round Table Meeting on "Russia, the International Economy and the World Trade Organization", sponsored by the Swedish Presidency and the Commission of the European Communities. The Round Table was also attended by the Russian Premier, Mr. Mikhail Kasyanov, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, Mr. Aleskey Kudrin, the Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Mr. German Gref, the Minister of Trade of Sweden Mr. Leif Pagrotsky, the EU Commissioner for Trade, Mr. Pascal Lamy and the Chairman of the Working Party on the Accession of the Russian Federation to the WTO, Ambassador Kare Bryn of Norway.

A copy of the Director-General's speech to the Round Table Meeting is available on the WTO website.