No WTO accession on "humiliating terms," Medvedev says

World Trade OrganisationCannes, France - The World Trade Organization does not work properly and Russia will not join it if the conditions for accession are "humiliating," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday ahead of a summit with European Union leaders.

"We can talk at length about the reasons for foot-dragging, but one reason is that the organization itself, its working methods and legal framework are not adapted well enough to the possibility of new members joining," Medvedev told Russian and EU businessmen in the French resort of Cannes.

"The dilemma is whether we need to join or not. I think we should, but we should do this on normal terms, not humiliating terms," he said.

In particular, any procedure to join the trade organization should take into account "the existence of new financial centres and regional currencies," he said.

Russia intends to pass laws by the end of the year to lay the foundations for a global financial centre in the country, and would like to see its currency, the ruble, develop as a global currency, he said.

Russia is the only major world economy not to belong to the WTO, but in recent months Medvedev's predecessor as president, current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, has cast doubt on whether or not it would be in Russia's interest to join.

On Friday, Medvedev is set to hold talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, current holder of the EU's rotating presidency, on issues including trade and financial reform.

The EU is a keen advocate of Russia's WTO accession, seeing it as a way of bringing more legal certainty to dealings with its giant eastern neighbour. (dpa)

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