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Opinions & Interviews

29 Mar 2016

Kobyakov: Belarus has every chance to successfully complete WTO accession talks

Kobyakov: Belarus has every chance to successfully complete WTO accession talks

MINSK, 29 March (BelTA) – Belarus has every chance to complete successfully the negotiations on its entry into the WTO in the medium term, Belarusian Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov told journalists on 29 March after a session that discussed Belarus’ cooperation with the organization, BelTA has learned.

The Prime Minister noted that Belarus can conclude the negotiation process soon as its Eurasian Economic Union partners are already members of the WTO.

Andrei Kobyakov emphasized that Belarus has already identified the accession terms it may accept, keeping in mind that its major trading and economic partners are members of the WTO. He said that the recent lifting of the EU sanctions against Belarus was a positive development. Andrei Kobyakov noted that western partners are ready for the active phase of the negotiations on Belarus’ accession to the WTO.

“All this means that the negotiations are likely to bring results in a relatively short time. I do not want to make predictions, but I think that this will happen in the medium term,” Andrei Kobyakov said.

He added that Belarus has defined what is acceptable for it. “We should get acquainted with the terms suggested by our partners and hold talks,” Andrei Kobyakov stressed. The Prime Minister emphasized that de facto Belarus already observes the WTO conditions because the legal framework of the Eurasian Economic Union is completely based on the norms of the World Trade Organization.

“We should start the finishing stage of the negotiation process. If any risks arise, all decisions will be made bearing in mind the need to maintain the general balance of interests. We may have to yield on some points, and insist on others to make Belarus’ balance of interests positive,” Andrei Kobyakov said.

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