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Reports: Russia reaches WTO deal with Moldova

Reports: Russia reaches WTO deal with Moldova

Russia and Moldova on Wednesday reached a bilateral deal on Moscow's accession to the World Trade Organization, removing one of the last obstacles to Russian membership of the global trading body, news agencies reported.
Russian Trade and Economic Development Minister German Gref and his Moldovan counterpart Igor Dodon signed the agreement in Moscow, the Interfax, ITAR-Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies reported.
"We express our gratitude to Moldova for their pragmatism on this issue," said Russia's chief WTO negotiator Maxim Medvedkov according to ITAR-Tass.
Russia last month said it was lifting its ban on Moldovan wine and meat products, fulfilling a major condition for a WTO deal with the poor ex-Soviet country.
Russia is closing in on its long-held goal of WTO membership, after having inked a bilateral agreement in November with the United States.
But it has faced threats from Moldova and Georgia _ another pro-Western ex-Soviet nation whose ties with Moscow have soured _ to block its accession to the 149-member group that sets global trade rules.
Russia also prohibited Georgian wine imports last spring, and both bans were widely seen as politically motivated punishment for the Westward shifts by the leaders of the two countries, which have sought to distance themselves from the Kremlin.
Relations with Georgia deteriorated even more in September when Georgian authorities briefly detained four Russian military officers on spying charges in September. Moscow retaliated with a transport and postal blockade and a crackdown on Georgian migrants in Russia.
Russia still needs to sign bilateral WTO deals with Georgia, Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador, according to ITAR-Tass.


Updated : 2021-03-06 19:35 GMT+08:00