18 Nov 2011

Russia's new WTO position good news for NZ - Minister

7:17 am on 18 November 2011

Russia's acceptance into the World Trade Organisation looks like smoothing the way for the completion of a free trade deal with New Zealand next year.

Russia last week was formally accepted into the Geneva-based organisation which runs the world trading system after nearly two decades of trying.

Trade Minister Tim Groser says that's good news for New Zealand.

New Zealand announced at last year's APEC meeting in Japan that it would be the first country in the world to try to strike a bilateral trade deal with Russia.

Mr Groser says New Zealand needs access to Russia's key decision makers but it's been preoccupied with major players like the USA, in trying to get into the WTO.

He says from a purely practical point of view this is good.

Mr Groser says Russia is eager to complete negotiations with New Zealand so it can move on to bigger deals.