The head of the European Commission said yesterday he was confident two issues preventing the European Union from signing off on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation could be solved.
"I am confident that those issues are solvable and both sides need to make rapid efforts to solve them," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit.
Russia has been seeking to join the WTO since the mid-1990s and in 2004 the EU agreed to back its accession.
EU officials say Russia needs to take action on two issues - cutting export duties on timber and reforming railway fees that Brussels says unfairly favour Russian ports.
Finnish national broadcaster Yle said yesterday that Russia was willing to drop wood export duties once it joined the WTO. ( Gulf )