Russia, U.S. end WTO talks economics minister
(RIA Novosti) - Russia and the United States have completed talks on the former's accession to the World Trade Organization, although multilateral talks will require six months to complete, the Russian economics minister said Friday.
"Agreements with the U.S. are balanced," German Gref said. "We have reached a compromise on key issues."
He said a protocol on the completion of the Russian-U.S. WTO talks will be signed in Hanoi next week during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
Talks with the United States have broken down several times over differences on access of financial services companies to the Russian market, massive copyright violations in the country, and most recently on agriculture, specifically U.S. meat exports, reports Trend.
Gref said compromises have been reached on the presence of foreign banks in Russia and on agriculture, and that Russia will sign an agreement on copyright protection simultaneously with the protocol.
Russia has yet to secure the approval of Georgia and Moldova, energy-dependent former Soviet allies with whom it is locked in an ongoing diplomatic feud over breakaway regions. Georgia has threatened to block Russia's entry.
Russia will also have to reach a multilateral deal with the 58-member Working Party on its accession to the WTO to bring national legislation and standards in line with international norms.