Russian diplomat sees possible ‘political risks’ in OECD entry talks

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(Interfax – January 2, 2013)

Moscow does not rule out negotiations on Russia’s entry to the OECD may be accompanied by “political risks” linked to the case of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergey Magnitskiy’s death, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s economic cooperation department Aleksandr Gorban said, as reported by Interfax on 2 January.

“These concerns are fair. There are political risks everywhere. However, international platforms, which are not designed for discussions of political processes, are often used for these aims,” Gorban said.

“As regards Sergey Magnitskiy, we also think his death was a tragedy. Maybe someone’s negligence and unprofessionalism have caused a situation where a person died. But the investigation is still under way. What do Americans, who adopted their Magnitskiy law, have to do with it? What is it, if not an attempt at pressure on Russia?,” the diplomat said.

He went on to add “Russia will not change the character and structure of its political system in order to please whoever”. “We will be developing and improving it, but on our own. By the way, in many respects the political system in Russia is far more advanced than that in many Western countries,” he said.

Interfax also quoted Groban as saying “there is no task of entering the OECD by 2013 at any cost” and that accession to the organization was “not an end in itself”.

[OECD website: http://www.oecd.org]