Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Guryanov said Tuesday his country could join the World Trade Organization (WTO) by 2015 if negotiations go well.
Guryanov told local media that accession to the WTO is a complicated and bureaucratized procedure, but Belarus will try to accelerate the process.
According to Guryanov, the main barriers to Belarus' WTO accession are bilateral negotiations with the United States and the European Union. "We need to complete a large amount of bilateral negotiations, including the United States and the EU - these are very difficult negotiations," he said.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said earlier that his country has bumped into a political barrier in its seeking of WTO membership.
"They say the WTO is a purely trade and economic organization. Nothing of the kind, the politics rule there," Lukashenko said.
The EU and the United States imposed sanctions against Belarus in response to "the continued incarceration of political prisoners and crackdown on political activists, journalists and civil society representatives."