The European Union's trade commissioner-designate Karel de Gucht says he is not sure whether the Doha round of global trade talks would be concluded this year or in 2011.
Gucht told a European Parliament hearing today that he was personally confident about concluding the Doha round whether in 2010 or 2011.
He added that there was agreement on 90 per cent of the topics that need to be addressed in Doha.
World leaders had pledged last year to bring the stalled Doha talks to a conclusion aimed at liberalisation of global trade in 2010.
He added that Doha negotiations should also cover climate talks under the World Trade Organisation and that there was no alternative to a Doha deal.
He added that much depended on Russia at the juncture and whether it wanted to join the WTO as part of a customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan.
He also pointed out that Moscow was violating agreements on tariffs with the EU, but he hoped these were temporary measures.