'WTO death' if no trade deal at G-20: Russia
AFP Sunday, November 9, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
MOSCOW--Russia on Friday warned of the imminent "death" of the World Trade Organization if developed and developing nations don't come to an agreement at the upcoming Group of 20 summit in Australia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will participate at the G-20 summit in Brisbane on Nov. 15-16.
His representative at the summit — known as the G-20 sherpa — said the gathering will address a number of top issues like trade, stressing that the interests of developing nations would have to be taken into account.
"The process of negotiations within the framework of the WTO have practically ground to a halt," said G-20 sherpa Svetlana Lukash, adding that several key decisions of the global trade body have not been implemented.
She told reporters that it was necessary to find a solution that would take into account concerns of both developed and developing nations.
"If we don't find a way out of this dead-end at the G-20 summit this could jeopardise the entire system of multilateral trade."
"In essence, it would mean... well... the death of the WTO," Lukash said. "It is a very important question."
"We are foreseeing rather heated discussions on this topic," she added.
She also said Moscow was concerned about the stalled reform of the International Monetary Fund.
"The most important thing for us is the reform of the IMF, a problem which has not yet been solved within the framework of the G-20."
She accused the United States of hampering the reform.
"Not only does it thwart the renewal of the IMF in line with today's realities which have seen a significant rise in the role of emerging economies, it also prevents the decisions to double the IMF capital from coming into force," Lukash said.
She warned that Russia and its BRICS partners would offer alternative proposals if a solution is not found by the end of the year.
Along with Russia, BRICS include emerging market nations Brazil, India, China and South Africa.
Russia is locked in a dramatic confrontation with the West over its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The Russian strongman has repeatedly spoken out against what it calls Washington's desire to dominate world politics and economy, saying developing economies should have a greater say in global affairs.
Putin has accused Western nations of violating WTO rules by slapping sanctions against Russia.
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