Ukraine may Block Russia’s Admission to WTO: Experts

Azerbaijan, Baku, 17 April / Trend corr. A.Gasimov, D.Bobesuk, E.Tanriverdiyeva / Ukraine may block entrance of Russia to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2008, in response to the disagreements with Moscow with regard to entrance to NATO.

" Ukraine demonstrates sensibility towards Russia and West after the Bucharest summit and it is not excluded that it will attempt to take revenge from Russia for blocking its ambitions to join NATO. Ukraine and Georgia will block entrance of Russia to WTO," Alexander Rar, the German expert, considers.

In the response to the sharp negative reaction of Russia, the NATO Bucharest summit, from 2 to 4 April, took a decision to postpone entrance of Georgia and Ukraine to the Membership Action Plan (MAP). Kremlin believes that approximation of the alliance to the Russian borders is a direct threat to its security.

The results of blocking Russia's entrance to WTO by Ukraine may be very dramatic, Rar, Director of the program of Russia and CIS countries of German Foreign Policy Council, believes. " Poland and Lithuania are blocking the new signed agreement on cooperation and partnership by European Union and Russia, Ukraine and Georgia will close Russian's way to join WTO, but Switzerland together with Estonia and Poland will block construction of north flow in the Baltic Sea," Rar stated Trend by email on 17 April.

According to the expert, it will result that Russia would move from Europe to Asia.

Vladimir Pribilovslki, the Russian political scientist, considers blocking of Russian entrance to WTO normal. "Apart from Ukraine, there are three countries including Poland which will also block Russian entrance to WTO," Prebilovski, President of the Information-Research Centre Panorama, stated to Trend by telephone on 17 April. The expert said that such moves by Ukraine will further worsen relations between the two countries.

The Ukrainian expert Igor Burakovski believes that Ukraine should act as depoliticized with respect to Russia's admission to WTO. "It would be very important for Ukraine to take part in the working group on Russia's admission to WTO. In this case, Ukraine should act maximally in a depoliticized manner and explain its Russian counterparts that on one hand, if the policy and security and Black Sea Fleet is important, then the economic interests of Ukrainian businesses in the Russian market are also important on the other," Burakovski, the Director of Institute for Economic Studies and Political Consultations of Ukraine said to Trend on 17 April.

According to expert, first of all, Ukraine may raise issues concerning the number of restrictions on export of Ukrainian goods to Russia. "Today, it concerns Ukrainian metal manufacture. There are also extracts from protocol on Free Trade Zone and these extracts should be liquidated," experts said. Apart from this, there are a number of problems concerning trade of agricultural products.

According to Burakovski, Ukraine's admission to WTO will not affect Ukraine-Russia talks on transportation of the gas to Europe.

The question of access of independent gas suppliers to the Russian transit system should be especially emphasized.

The parties can reach to an agreement in this regard as Russia is not only one of the biggest gas suppliers for Ukraine, but also one of the largest transit countries of the gas which is coming from Central Asia, expert said.

Russia has been attempting to join WTO since mid-1990. Apart from Ukraine, Poland and Georgia are also likely to hinder Russia's admission to WTO.

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