“The European Union (EU) applied restrictions on steel imports and allocated quotas so as to safeguard its own steel production sector. Now steel could be delivered without restrictions,” Rasa Adomaitienė, director of the External Economic Relations Department at the Foreign Ministry, told BNS on Wednesday after a joint meeting of parliamentary committees on economics, foreign affairs and rural affairs, which centered on the effects of Russia’s WTO membership on Lithuanian-Russian economic relations.
Russia’s WTO membership was an advantage, not a disadvantage for Lithuania, Adomaitienė said. She noted, however, that Russia’s accession to the WTO would not work any miracles as far as the prices of energy resources were concerned. For example, the duty levied on the exports of natural gas would remain unchanged, at 30 percent.
“Russia will be able to sell gas to different countries at different prices,” Adomaitienė said at the meeting adding that Lithuania’s duty rates and trading terms would not change due to Russia’s entry to the WTO.
“Let’s hope that the conditions for Lithuania’s business will be more favorable for trade, that the terms for the exports of services will improve,” Foreign Vice-Minister Egidijus Meilūnas said at the meeting.
According to Adomaitienė, Russia had not negotiated any exemptions for its Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad. The process of Russia’s entry to the WTO will be finalized in July.
Lithuania exports some 3 billion litas (EUR 0.87 b) worth of produce to Russia each year.