EMFA Nr 365-E, 15 October 2012
Yesterday at the meeting of the European Union foreign ministers with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Luxembourg, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Estonia hopes that Russia will implement all the principles of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Paet stated that Estonia supported Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation and that the country’s fulfilment of WTO requirements is essential to both the European Union and Russia. “It is vital to stop setting discriminatory limitations. For example, the ban on transporting live animals from the EU, including Estonia, to Russia should be abolished,” Paet stated.
“This is a problem in the European Union’s trade relations with Russia,” he added. “However, since Russia’s accession to the WTO, customs duties on timber have decreased.”
The foreign ministers also discussed the new framework agreement between the European Union and Russia. “The European Union would like for it to be as comprehensive and detailed as possible,” explained the Estonian foreign minister. “We expect to move forward in negotiations for the agreement in a way that takes into consideration the trade and investment sectors and helps us take us a step closer to creating a free trade zone between the European Union and Russia,” he said.
A long-term goal in relations with Russia is achieving a visa waiver between the European Union and Russia. “The full implementation of the common steps and measures agreed upon in the visa dialogue, including reducing border queues at our shared border, would set the stage for starting visa waiver negotiations,” stated Paet.
Paet said that the European Union also expects Russia to co-operate in resolving frozen conflicts.
The foreign minister of the EU and Russia also discussed the Syrian crisis and the situation in Iran.
Estonia Hopes for Smooth Co-operation From Russia in Fulfilling Principles of World Trade Organisation (1)