Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Swedish Government Unhappy with Russian Trade Practices

Looks like the US isn't alone in having concerns about Russia joining the WTO. The Swedes also have some concerns:

Swedish Trade Minister Sten Tolgfors told Reuters he felt direct trade discussions with Russia were no longer productive and he had asked for EU help as he accused the Russians of failing to live up to promises on timber tariffs.

"This is the first time my government is really this outspoken and critical towards Russia," he said in an interview.

More specifically:

"I think simply that the highest leadership of Russia has not seen the linkage to the conditions for the WTO membership. So that's why the promises made by ministers have not been fulfilled," Tolgfors said.

"It's very hard for me to continue a dialogue when the agreements are not fulfilled. That's why it has to go back to the Commission and they have to handle this issue with urgency in the WTO negotiations," he said.

Once again, it's good to not stand alone.

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