WTO entry not to hinder Russia's Eurasian Union efforts: senior lawmaker

Updated: 2012-07-12 02:16:00

(Xinhua)

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MOSCOW, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) will not hamper its plan of creating a Eurasian Union, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Wednesday.

"I don't think Russia's WTO membership will hinder our work on the Eurasian front, where our country is playing a leading role," Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, told the Interfax news agency.

Russia will seek a compromise between WTO membership and its Eurasian Union plan, said Pushkov after the Tuesday ratification of the WTO protocol by the lower house of the Russian parliament.

Meanwhile, the Eurasian Union efforts, as President Vladimir Putin has noted, are Russia's foreign policy priority, Pushkov said.

The upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vladivostok shows that Russia is playing an important role in the Eurasian integration, according to the lawmaker.

In the past few years, Russia has been eagerly fostering integration in the post-Soviet space and seeking the creation of a Common Economic Space.

Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have agreed to set up a Eurasian economic union, an EU-style intergovernmental economic mechanism, in 2015 to facilitate the free flow of people, capital and goods.

"I have no doubt Russia will be among four or five leading states of the Eurasian community," Pushkov said.

Russia's WTO accession has triggered heated debates in the country, though Moscow has been seeking a membership for more than 18 years. Opponents say the move would negatively impact domestic economy, and even undermine Russia's national sovereignty and security.

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