WTO to Consider New Russia Proposal

The working group on Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization will consider an updated version of the country's proposal at the next round of talks in November, Moscow's top trade negotiator said Thursday.

"It includes 20 undecided questions, which are primarily of a technical nature," said Maxim Medvedkov, who leads the country's negotiations on entering the WTO, Interfax reported.

The comments came after he told Izvestia in an interview published Thursday that Russia "won't die" without membership if Western pressure keeps it out for now.

Medvedkov added that other countries wouldn't "get what they want" by excluding Russia, the biggest economy outside the WTO.

While Russia would not see the benefits of membership for five to seven years, it does need to join to ensure it can attract investment in high-technology to diversify its economy, Medvedkov told Izvestia.

(Bloomberg, MT)