Belarus to resume WTO entry talks within months
Belarus will continue negotiations for acceding to the World Trade Organization within the next few months, said Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Guryanov at the international roundtable session “Accession to the WTO and the regional integration as instruments to enter a multilateral trade system” on 3 November.
“We plan to do some paperwork by the end of the year, to provide information to the WTO entry negotiating team and hope that after these documents are studied, we will resume talks on Belarus’ accession to the WTO at the end of the year or very early next year,” said Alexander Guryanov. As many as 37 WTO member states will hold talks with Belarus. Belarus’ terms of WTO accession are coordinated with the united negotiating delegation of the Customs Union. “We undertake the obligations before the WTO that meet interests of all the three countries of the Customs Union,” stressed the official.
Alexander Guryanov also remarked that as a Customs Union member Belarus faces no hindrances to enter the World Trade Organization. “We just have to coordinate our obligations in the Customs Union and our obligations in the WTO,” said the official. “To address collisions, we have signed relevant Customs Union documents that will allow us to continue WTO entry talks without breaking our integration association”. On the whole, WTO rules allow for customs unions within the framework of the organization.
He remarked that the creation of the Customs Union had brought certain lack of understanding among WTO members, in particular the intention of the three countries to enter the organization together. “But we clearly understand how we will advance towards the WTO. Since the Russian Federation has achieved rather serious progress in its negotiations, we now have conditions to resume the negotiation process,” stressed Alexander Guryanov. He said he hopes Belarus will face only pure pragmatism on the way and no political hindrances from partners in the WTO.