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India, Russia wrap up talks on WTO

The text of the bilateral WTO protocol was finalised during Commerce Secretary SN Menon's talks in Moscow.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2006 18:17 IST

India and Russia have wrapped up talks on Moscow's accession to the World Trade Organisation and a bilateral protocol is expected to be signed early next month when Russia's Economic Development and Trade Minister Gherman Gref visits New Delhi.

The text of the bilateral WTO protocol was finalised on Monday during Commerce Secretary SN Menon's talks in Moscow with Gref, who is scheduled to visit New Delhi and Bangalore from February 4-6 at the invitation of Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath.

Bilateral trade issues were also reviewed during the talks, including ways to boost export of Indian tea and tobacco to Russia. The chairman of the Tea Board was part of the Indian delegation.

Menon, who was accompanied by ONGC Videsh Ltd Vice President, also discussed prospects for cooperation in the energy sector.

During his forthcoming Bangalore visit, the Russian Minister would be able to evaluate the potential of cooperation in the IT sector, an Indian Embassy release said.

Menon and Gref also held detailed discussions on setting up an Indo-Russian Joint Study Group to examine the potential of enhancing bilateral trade and also raised the vexed issue of business visas.

At a dinner hosted by the Moscow-based Indian Business Alliance, Menon conceded that the issue was one of the bottlenecks for boosting bilateral economic interaction.

He noted that Russia is the only member of the G-8 which has unfavourable visa rules for Indian businessmen.

First Published: Jan 24, 2006 18:17 IST