(Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin warned on Tuesday that Russia would scrap global trade rules it has voluntarily adopted if it failed to get a deal with the United States over its bid to join the World Trade Organization.
Russia wants to reach a trade deal with the United States for WTO entry by the July 15-17 Group of Eight summit in the northern city of St Petersburg, a senior Putin aide said, reports Trend.
The United States is the biggest stumbling block to Russian entry to the trading club, and talks with Washington have snagged -- some say stalled -- over issues such as access to Russia's financial markets and intellectual property rights.
"Russia is still not a member of the World Trade Organization and the only country with which we have not agreed about accession is the United States," Putin told business leaders in televised comments.
Putin was meeting Marcus Wallenberg, chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, which works to promote trade.
"If we for some reason do not succeed in reaching a final agreement we will relieve ourselves of the commitments on some agreements which we have not only taken but that we are fulfilling while not even being a member of the organization."
Russia has sought entry to the WTO since 1993. A small army of Russian officials has spent years changing rules governing trade and the economy as Russia moves slowly toward membership.
Putin will host world leaders including President George W. Bush at a G8 summit in the northern Russian city of St Petersburg at the end of next week.
Sergei Prikhodko, a Putin aide, said he hoped Russia could agree with the United States on WTO entry by the G8 summit.
"We would want this very much, but any process has two partners," Prikhodko said, when asked by a reporter if Russia could agree with the United States by the G8 summit.
"Our partners show a very responsible approach but joining the WTO is a very responsible process, which has its ups and downs," he said at a briefing.
"We are not over-dramatizing the situation. In principle, there is such a possibility but it will not be a tragedy if the final deal will come later," Prikhodko said.
Russia's economy, swollen by soaring prices for its main exports -- oil and gas -- and a domestic boom, is the biggest still outside the Geneva-based body, which deals with the rules of trade between nations.
Putin, keen to underline what he sees as Russia's growing international authority, has set WTO entry as one of his top economic priorities. But he has warned that Russia will not damage its economy to join the body.
Putin said in March that the United States was artificially holding up Russia's accession to the 149-member trade body by insisting on conditions that have little to do with the WTO.