Russia Refuses to Lower Energy Prices for WTO
LCG, October 31, 2002-Russia will not allow foreign generators to sell electricity at a price equal to domestically produced electricity, although the country is bidding to join the WTO.Maxim Medvedkov, chief negotiator for Russia, has said to reporters that Russia need not alter its system of charging higher prices for export electricity in order to facilitate the country's entrance into the World Trade Organization.Medvedkov is in the last state of negotiating Russia's membership in the WTO and has conceded that Russian energy should become privatized but stands firm on the issue of dual pricing, asserting that Russian per capita energy consumption is twice that of Canada.Current WTO members disagree with Russia's dual pricing and say it gives Russian exportation of other goods an unfair competitive edge.U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick has projected that Russia may join the WTO as early as 2004 as long as economic reforms are instituted.
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