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Russia Has Its Advantages Outside WTO - Sergei Ivanov

Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C.WASHINGTON. APRIL 6 (Interfax) - Even outside the World Trade Organization Russia has a lot of advantages, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov told Russian journalists at the Russian embassy in Washington.

"For all the importance of the issue and the Russian government's conviction that we must join the WTO, our industry is not so unanimous on this," he said.

"It is obvious that many of the industrial sectors will lose much, while some will gain, which is a matter of balance of interests. But I think our membership in the WTO will benefit even our backward branches, which will simply die or survive through modernization," Ivanov said, adding that there is no other motivation.

"All problems that were worrying the U.S. - intellectual property, agriculture and car industrial assembly - have been closed," he said.

Besides that, he said, if Russia joins the WTO "it will become absolutely clear that cancelling the Jackson-Vanik amendment would be ungainly for Americans. They themselves will be punished."

"This must be done almost simultaneously. The time factor becomes important here. If this does not happen in the summer or early autumn, the 'window of opportunities' will close again as elections arrive one after another, leaving no time to deal with this," Ivanov said.

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