MOSCOW Prime Minister Vladimir Putin backed proposals Monday allowing Moscow to renege on some commitments it has made during World Trade Organization accession talks, state media reported.
During a government meeting, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said Russia should continue negotiations for WTO entry, but should step back from agreements that place an unnecessarily heavy burden on Russia.
"We should inform our partners of the need to exit some agreements that currently contradict the interests of the Russian Federation," Shuvalov said, according to the state-run RIA-Novosti news agency.
Putin backed Shuvalov's suggestions and noted that Russia has especially faced onerous trade conditions in agriculture.
"We see virtually no advantages, but we are carrying a burden," said Putin. "That does not mean we should abandon our strategic goals of moving toward WTO, but we must be clear when dealing with our partners."
Russia has been seeking to join the WTO since 1995, and remains the largest economy outside of the trade organization.