#4 - JRL 7035
Russia waits for EU's signal to form common economic space - Gref
DAVOS/MOSCOW. Jan 27 (Interfax) - Russia is waiting for a signal from
Europe to form a common European economic space, said German Gref, Russia's
Minister of Economic Development and Trade.
At the "Russia and Europe: A New Partnership?" debates at the World
Economic Forum in Davos, Gref called for intensifying the dialog on the
European economic space's "essence, strategy and concrete period of
formation," Alla Borisenkova, the head of the ministry's public relations
department, told Interfax on Monday.
Nearly all of the debate participants supported the idea, Borisenkova
said. Representatives of big business and statesmen, among them Finnish
President Tarja Halonen and British Secretary of State for Trade and
Industry Patricia Hewitt, attended the debates.
The Russian delegation expressed regret that on many issues, the
Moscow-EU dialogue "had gotten stuck in the first phase." They specifically
referred to Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a
number of bilateral economic issues. Gref suggested that the European Union
start carrying out the agreements that have already been signed, in
addition to completing negotiations on unsigned documents.