Medvedev welcomes progress in Russia's accession to WTO
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday acknowledged progress in the process of Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), RIA Novosti reported.
"We have made very serious progress lately in the WTO accession issues," Medvedev said after a closed-door meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the 2010 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Japan's Yokohama.
"I hope that this work will continue, and Russia will soon join the WTO," the Russian president said.
Russia, the only major economy outside the global trade body, has been negotiating WTO membership for 17 years compared with an average accession period of five to seven years.
Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said on Friday that the final accession procedures would start in 2-4 months and could be finalized next year.
Washington has repeatedly stated that the United States did not oppose and even welcomed Russia's joining global economies as an equal partner.
During the meeting on Sunday both presidents also noted productive Russia-U.S. cooperation on a wide range of bilateral and global economic issues.