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Opinions & Interviews

25 Oct 2019

Belarus eager to secure national interests before joining WTO

Belarus eager to secure national interests before joining WTO

NUR-SULTAN, 25 October (BelTA) – Belarus will be ready to join the World Trade Organization only if the country is confident its national interests are protected, BelTA learned from First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Aleksandr Turchin on the sidelines of negotiations between the Belarusian and Kazakh heads of state on 25 October.

Aleksandr Turchin noted that Belarus is intent on joining the WTO but results of making the move are more important than the desire to join the organization at any cost and as soon as possible. “Protecting the national interests is the main goal. We can join the WTO tomorrow by accepting all the terms of the partners. But we have to strike a balance: we can accept compromises on some matters but some other matters are too sensitive and we have to negotiate to protect our country’s interests,” Aleksandr Turchin said.

Kazakhstan also supports Belarus’ efforts to join the WTO. This summer Kazakhstan’s resident representative in the UN Office in Geneva suggested letting Belarus join the WTO in June 2020 when the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference – the WTO’s supreme governing body – is supposed to take place in Nur-Sultan.

Aleksandr Turchin remarked that Belarus’ accession to the WTO does not depend on Kazakhstan’s stance alone although the stance is very favorable for the Belarusian side. “We also have partners from the United States of America, the European Union, with whom we are in a very intensive dialogue,” he added.

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