Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Russia to help Belarus join WTO

Russia is going to facilitate Belarusian accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and help to minimize political factors in the negotiations on joining the organization, the chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission board Viktor Khristenko said on Wednesday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

"As a WTO member, Russia can facilitate Belarusian accession to WTO. I think Russia will be taking steps to accelerate the process of accession of all Customs Union countries and Common Economic Area signatories to the WTO," Khristenko told local media in Minsk.

According to the politician, the negotiations on Kazakhstan's accession to the WTO are nearing completion. "I also think this won't be an endless story for Belarus, either," he added.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said earlier Belarus is facing a political fence in its quest for WTO membership. "We have long been prepared to join the WTO; we have held negotiations. But we suddenly bumped into a political barrier," he said.

"They say the WTO is a purely trade and economic organization. Nothing of the kind, the politics rule there," Lukashenko said.