Russia will only join WTO on acceptable terms - Putin
( RIA Novosti ) - Russia will only make a final decision on joining the World Trade Organization if admission terms are in accordance with its national interests, the Russian president said on Friday.
"We will make a final decision only if we manage to achieve admission parameters that correspond to our interests," Vladimir Putin told journalists after an EU-Russia summit in Portugal.
He said that acceding to the WTO and opening up its markets is "a difficult decision" for Moscow to make and that he hopes it will be appreciated by its negotiating partners.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Russia and the EU will resolve the remaining problems involved in Moscow's admission to the WTO without launching new negotiations.
Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates said only technical problems remain in the way of Russia's admission and that the EU backed Russia's desire to join the global trade organization.
The EU trade chief, Peter Mandelson, said earlier that Russia's admission to the WTO could lay the groundwork for closer economic integration with the European Union and resolve disputes with Europe over Polish meat and Russian timber exports.
Relations between Moscow and Warsaw have been tense since Russia imposed a ban on meat products and fruit and vegetable deliveries from Poland in November 2005 in a row over sanitary standards. In retaliation, Poland blocked talks on a new EU-Russia partnership agreement, and said it could bar Russia's entry to the WTO if Moscow failed to lift the meat embargo.