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Russia will join WTO in 2006 - KudrinMonday, April 24, 2006 > 02:37:09
Source: RIA Novosti 24/04/2006
Russia will join the World Trade Organization in 2006, the Russian Finance Minister said Friday, speaking at a meeting in Washington.
Alexei Kudrin said that having held talks with U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman, he was optimistic about Russia's accession.
"I am sure that we will join the WTO this year," he said.
Russia appreciates U.S. demands in bilateral negotiations, and wants to find a solution, the minister said.
Under WTO regulations, Russia must sign bilateral accession agreements with all members of the 58-nation WTO Working Party. Moscow initially planned to do so last year but it is still holding talks with the U.S., Canada, Australia and Colombia. Obstacles remain in negotiations with Washington.
The main area of dispute is over American demands that Russia allow foreign banks to open branches in the country. Russian legislation currently prohibits foreign banks from opening branches in the country, although they may set up subsidiaries.