EU says no breakthrough with Russia in WTO talks
EU and Russian officials failed on Thursday to reach a breakthrough on Moscow’s long-delayed World Trade Organization bid ahead of Moscow’s plan to hike timber export duties on April 1.
“Talks continue,” said Peter Power, a spokesman for EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson. Mandelson and Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin talked by telephone on Thursday as the two sides tried to speed up their search for an agreement that would clear the way for the European Union to give final approval for Moscow’s WTO accession bid. One of the main obstacles has been Russia’s plan to increase the duties it applies to exports of timber, which hurt paper and pulp producers in Nordic EU states, especially Finland.
On April 1 the duties are due to rise to 25% from 20%, one of a series of planned increases. The duties add to costs for Swedish and Finnish paper companies such as Stora Enso, the world’s biggest paper producer, UPM-Kymmene and M-Real. Moscow also has to get final clearance for its WTO bid from other countries, including the United States, which is seeking better protection against intellectual property theft. Kudrin said on Tuesday he would travel next week to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, in a bid to get their blessing for Russia’s bid. (Reuters)
SUPPORT THE BUDAPEST BUSINESS JOURNAL
Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.