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Conditions for Ukraine's WTO membership unfavorable -- minister

WASHINGTON, September 26 (RIA Novosti, Alexei Berezin) - Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said at a Washington news conference that the conditions set for Ukraine to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) were "very unfavorable."

The minister, who was in the U.S. capital Sunday to attend a session of the International Monetary and Financial Committee at an annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund boards of governors, said: "We will not join the WTO on such conditions."

He said that Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref would discuss the issue during his own visit to Washington, which would start on Monday.

Kudrin said Russia was concluding bilateral discussions on WTO issues with several countries. The minister said that even if agreement on Russia's membership in the organization were reached by the end of 2005, technical procedures would take between six months and a year to complete.

(The Moscow Times 26.ix.05)

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