RUSSIA: Putin won't change auto rules for WTO entry
Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin has said his country will not give up its new rules for vehicle assembly for major global manufacturers in order to win entry into the World Trade Organisation.
The new rules - already accepted by the likes of General Motors, Fiat, Ford, Renault and Volkswagen, which plan to invest US$5bn in Russia - are opposed by the EU, Reuters noted.
"We are continuing a difficult dialogue with the European Commission and the United States in the process of WTO accession," Putin told workers at steelmaker Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works on Friday.
Putin said the EU and the United States were insisting Russia drop assembly requirements aimed at boosting local production, such as a requirement that foreign carmakers create capacity to produce up to 350,000 cars per year.
"We have said that our position has not changed. This is a red line which we cannot cross," he said.
Russia hopes to join the WTO this year after 18 years of negotiations. It is the biggest economy outside the global trade rules body.