By Ilya Kharlamov
Russia may join the WTO already on December 15th. Its membership is now being boosted by the Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey who mediates Russia-Georgia talks on the remaining controversies. This was stated by the Kremlin’s aide Arkady Dvorkovich who spoke in a briefing in the run-up to the Cannes G20 summit.
The official added that Russia’s entry is likely to be decided at the WTO ministerial session on December 15th. The final touch will be to settle issues with Georgia that used to oppose to Russia’s bid. Thus, this country’s President Dmitry Medvedev met his Swiss counterpart before she went to Tbilisi.
Dvorkovich also said that the G20 summit decide on the 2013 presidency claimed by Russia and Turley. Dmitry Medvedev will attend the first day of the forum after holding a BRICS meeting.
This year’s summit will traditionally focus on the global economy and anti-second-wave-of-the-crisis measures, Dvorkovich said:
“Financial indexes show that risks are still there as the US and Europe are not economically consolidated. The recent EU summit gave some grounds for cautious optimism. Stabilization is possible and Europe has enough money for it. Everything depends on whether national government will keep their promises.”
Russia is ready to contribute several bln dollars, Dvorkovich said as stable Europe is crucial for the country, being Russia’s main trade and investment partner. Unstable Europe means an unstable Russian economy, Dvorkovich concluded.
The summit will also have assistance to the poor countries on the agenda. The previous Seoul summit resulted in the Development Consensus for Shared Growth that can be used as a basis.
The most painful issue to be discussed is the financial market regulation, Dvorkovich said:
“Reducing the budget deficit in various countries is the number one condition for financial stability and Russia will be tough about it. BRICS shares the same position and we’ll act together urging for austerity. We are also firm about the IMF reform as the developing countries should be given a bigger say in the decision-making process.”
Russia is also putting forward an energy security initiative – it insists on strictly following energy stability principles, including safe oil and gas drilling on the Arctic shelf. Russia expects the G20 leaders to approve a mechanism providing for Arctic exploration security.
President Medvedev also plans to speak about copyright issues on the Internet.