Russia Hoping toComplete WTO Negotiations by Year End

Posted July 28th, 2011 at 6:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Russia says its accession to the World Trade Organization could be finalized by the end of this year.

The head of Moscow's delegation for trade negotiations, Maxim Medvedkov, said Thursday that all the talks and formalities could be completed by mid-December, when the WTO's general council plans to hold a meeting.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Thursday discussed the issue by telephone with European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso. Mr. Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said the prime minister urged the European Union to speed up the process.

In Geneva, the WTO's director general, Pascal Lamy, told the Reuters news agency that Russia's accession to the organization is in sight and could be sealed by the end of the year.

Russia is the only major world economy still awaiting admission to the World Trade Organization. It has been negotiating to join the organization for more than 17 years.