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Having Entered into WTO Kiev Will Demand from Moscow Take All Restrictions on the Ukrainian Export Away

Having Entered into WTO Kiev Will Demand from Moscow Take All Restrictions on the Ukrainian Export Away
Prime-minister Julia Timoshenko gave instructions to Security Service of Ukraine and the State Office of Public Prosecutor to carry out investigation of circumstances of signing the contracts of the Nations Stock Company "Neftegas of Ukraine" with RosUkrEnergo on transit and storage of gas. Timoshenko informed about it yesterday during interdepartmental meeting dedicated to the financial condition of "Neftegas of Ukraine". She called signing of the given contracts "treachery of national interests".

According to Тimoshenko, as a result of realization of the contracts the volume of gas which Ukraine receives for transit of the Russian raw material on its territory, was reduced from 28,3 billion cubic metre in 2004 up to 9 billion cubic metre in 2007. Besides between "Neftegas of Ukraine" and RosUkrEnergo there were signed agreements on transit and storage of gas for the period of 25 years with the right of tariffs revision only twice during the term of the contract. Thus the price for transit stipulated in the agreements made 1,09 dollars for 1 thousand cubic metre for 100 km, while for storage of gaz RosUkrEnergo in UGSF - 2.25 dollars for 1 thousand cubic metre.

In Julia Timoshenko's opinion, those prices were initially "below market ones" and, subsequently they were reconsidered already twice. "Both times the price was reconsidered under both contracts so that it won't be possible to rise it again", - the prime-minister specified.

In the meantime a session of general council of the World Trade Organization took place in Switzerland during which the report on the introduction of Ukraine into WTO was signed. Signatures under the document were put by the chapter of WTO Paskal Lami and president Victor Juschenko.

The given report does not mean that Ukraine automatically becomes a member of the World Trade Organization. The parliament of the republic should ratify it till July, 4th, 2008. And only after 30 days after the decision of the Supreme Rada Ukraine can enter WTO.

"Introduction into WTO is a fine way for integration of Ukraine into world trading space and not the tool for pressure upon other countries. I think that Ukraine should cooperate in its territory practically with all business men of all branches so that we can be competitive after introduction into WTO", - Julia Timoshenko declared on the 29th of January.

WTO was created in 1995 aiming to liberalize international trade and regulate trading-political relations of the states-members. Now Armenia, Georgia, Kirghizia and Moldova are in WTO among other CIS countries.

At the end of January the Russian vice-premier Alexey Kudrin informed that the working group on joining of Russia to WTO would finish its work above the report on system questions in the nearest 1-2 months. "It will mean a new stage of negotiations that will bring long marathon on entering of Russia into WTO to its end", - Kudrin noticed.

Meanwhile, joining of Ukraine to WTO can be reflected on negotiating process of Russia about introduction into this organization. It was declared on February, 5th by the Russian vice-premier Sergey Naryshkin who's engaged in foreign trade activities in the government of the Russian Federation. "This fact is necessary to considered in negotiating process," - Naryshkin said having explained that now everything would depend on new positions which "Ukraine will or will not put forward".

According to Naryshkin, Ukraine hasn't put forward any new conditions from its side. "I don't know about it," - vice-premier added. He also recognized that according to a schedule, Russia, most likely, would become a member of WTO already after Ukraine, as soon as Ukraine could theoretically enter the working group on the questions of joining of Russian into WTO.

According to the Charter of WTO, each member of organization has the right to demand carrying out of bilateral consultations with any state which applies for joining into WTO. "Ukraine after introduction into WTO can apply for carrying out of such consultations with Russia and, there is no doubt, it will use the right", - the head of the Ukrainian editorial board of FORUM.msk Vladimir Filin declared, having emphasized thus, that "the Ukrainian negotiation position will be reasonable and weighed, there will be nothing infringing Russia".

"Ukraine is ready to promote as much as possible that process of joining of the Russian Federation would happen as soon as possible", president Victor Jushchenko declared in the meantime making public speech on the session of General Council of WTO in Geneva on Tuesday, February, 5th. "We completely support the Russian Federation in WTO. Ukraine will promote as much as possible to that the process of joining happens as soon as possible", - he said.

Juschenko also emphasized that Ukraine will never support "entering of artificial and unreasonable complications" into the negotiating process on joining of other countries into WTO.

"Ukraine stands for all trade relations between the countries of the world were based on principles of equal partnership, openness, a transparency, refusal of obstacles - that is by rules of WTO. We deeply believe, these rules should be a basis of trade relations between the countries of former Soviet Union", - the president declared.

Let's remind, that a little bit earlier, on January, 31st, Victor Jushchenko declared that he intended to use future introduction of Ukraine into WTO for strengthening of the Ukrainian positions in trading disputes with Russia. "Thanks to desire of Russia to join WTO, we'll have interesting negotiations connected with "antidumping activities" and other "restrictions" imposed by Moscow on the Ukrainian export", - he noted. According to Juschenko, Ukraine has annual deficiency over 6 billion dollars in trade with Russia, "half of which, according to the experts,  is caused by these restrictions". Former first vice-premier of the government of the Russian Federation Boris Nemtsov in the interview to the site "New Region" in answer to this question said the following:

"Ukraine can make Russia demands on simplification of trading mode, for example, on canceling of quotas on ten positions, including import of pipes, metal, sugar and so on. There is a good Russian proverb: "snotty should be kissed in time". Our government headed by Putin have been entering WTO for many years, but still fail. While Ukraine engaged itself with it only after orange revolution and has already achieved real successes".

Nemtsov considers that, having let Ukraine enter into WTO before Russia, the Kremlin "has created to itself and to country "a head ache". "As they will solve these problems, I do not know. The only chance - to accelerate introduction into WTO, having agreed on some concessions, otherwise we shall receive such passenger, up to here. Losses of Russia can be very essential: we simply will not be accepted in WTO", - he considers.

Nemtsov also subjected to rigid criticism position of the Russian government and Minister of Finance Alexey Kudrin who approved earlier that prolonged introduction of Russia into WTO is connected with reception of more favourable conditions, than Ukraine had. "All the countries of the world had already entered WTO, except for Russia. And, naturally, Russia suffers losses because antidumping investigations are being entered, tariff regulation in relation to the Russian goods is entered. Let they (the government) won't cast the blame on others. They work badly, very badly. They've got a full plug from Ukraine. Our most important trading partner - Ukraine - entered into WTO before us. While the governmental cuts down something in WTO, Russia loses money," - Boris Nemtsov summarizes. 

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