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India supports Russia's entry into WTO

India on Monday signed the bilateral accession protocol with Russia, supporting its entry into the World Trade Organisation.

india Updated: Feb 06, 2006 20:05 IST

India on Monday signed the bilateral accession protocol with Russia, supporting its entry into the World Trade Organisation.

Russia will have to enter into a bilateral protocol with all 149 member countries of WTO to become a member of the multilateral trade organisation.

"India was looking forward to Russia's early accession to the WTO and both sides would carry forward their cooperation at the multilateral trade forum also," Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath told reporters after signing the protocol with his Russian counterpart German Gref in New Delhi.

As part of the negotiations, any aspiring WTO member has to offer certain concessions like China had to accept textiles quotas in US and European Union even as they were dismantled in 2005.

Current WTO membership is 149 and Russia would well be on its way to become the 150th member.

Russia has agreed to give Geographical Indications to Darjeeling tea, Alphonso mango and Basmati rice as part of the WTO deal but the agreement on this would be signed later at the inter-governmental level.

Both sides also inked a Memorandum of Understanding providing for setting up of a Joint Study Group to examine the feasibility of a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.

Pointing that the exports from India to Russia had declined from $900 million to $650 million , Nath said economic component of the Indo-Russian relationship has to be strengthened.

Nath said a trade forum would also be set up to monitor the progress being made on the trade targets.

First Published: Feb 06, 2006 20:05 IST