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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia, WTO Negotiating Entry Terms

GENEVA -- Russia pushed its case for gaining entry to the World Trade Organization on Tuesday as some of its trading partners expressed concern about government control over import licensing schemes, trade officials said.

Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Dorothy Dwoskin was among those who raised the issue at the WTO working session that is negotiating Moscow's terms of entry to the 123-member watchdog organization.

"Some concern was expressed how the current import licensing registration works and whether it is compatible with WTO rules," said one senior U.S. trade official.

"The Russians have done a useful job in beginning to show where their non-tariff measures are. Some are WTO-compatible and some don't appear to be," added the official, who did not wish to be identified.

Russian officials showed a constructive attitude in the session, the fourth since 1993, trade sources said, though they added that they still expected a long road to membership for Moscow.

"I would say we have turned a corner in the discussions. There is much more focus and detailed information. It wasn't just fact-finding," the senior U.S. trade official said.

Heading a 20-member delegation from Moscow is Georgy Gabounia, deputy foreign trade minister.

In an opening speech, Gabounia said Russia was focusing on achieving macroeconomic stability. Exports jumped to 20 percent of gross domestic product in 1995 from an average of 7 percent in 1991 to 1993, he said.