Russia may join WTO in spring of 2011 — presidential aide


Nov 16, 2009
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Russia could join the World Trade Organization no earlier than the spring of 2011 and on condition that the United States approves the country's bid this September, a Russian presidential aide said.

"It is technically impossible to join the WTO by the end of this year. It might be possible to join the organization next spring. Experts say it is technically possible next spring," Arkady Dvorkovich said.

U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed on Thursday the United States' support of Russia's bid to join the global trade body.

"I reaffirm our strong commitment to Russia's ascension to the World Trade Organization," Obama said during a joint news conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Washington.

Russia has been in negotiations for WTO membership for over 16 years and is the only major economy outside of the global trade body.

Medvedev has admitted Russia still has problems with intellectual property rights protection, a major impediment to WTO accession, but says tackling this issue is a priority for the Russian government.

In June 2009, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus notified the WTO of their intention to join the world trade club as a customs union. Four months later, the three former Soviet republics announced they would resume talks on WTO accession separately, but from synchronized positions.


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