WTO should be top Lithuanian priority

  • 1999-03-04
VILNIUS (BNS) - The United States has voiced its concern that Lithuania should be accepted into the World Trade Organization as soon as possible, but believes Lithuania should "concentrate more effort in meeting membership requirements."

At last week's meeting in Washington, Susan Esserman, the U.S. trade representative's adviser general, told the Lithuanian delegation that its agricultural policy remained the most sensitive problem of Lithuanian membership in WTO.

Lithuanian agricultural policy is still unsettled even though the issue received most of the attention at the last meeting.

Latvia is the only Baltic state that has joined the WTO, while entry talks with Lithuania have dragged on due to what diplomats say were attempts to bargain for better membership terms.

The Lithuanian delegation, led by Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Algimantas Rimkunas, and U.S. representatives, headed by Stuart Eizenstat, undersecretary of state for economic, trade and agricultural issues, held two-way economic consultations at the State Department. The Lithuanian party consulted Americans on development of further cooperation and at the same time evaluated the country's progress in the economic, trade and investment spheres.

Last week's meeting was the second round of consultations observing regulations of a charter signed between the U.S. and the three Baltic states in January 1998.