Medvedev sees 2010 end to Russia's WTO talks | world | Hindustan Times
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Medvedev sees 2010 end to Russia's WTO talks

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hopes to conclude negotiations on Russia joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2010, he said in comments released by the Kremlin on Friday.

world Updated: Nov 14, 2009 12:34 IST

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hopes to conclude negotiations on Russia joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2010, he said in comments released by the Kremlin on Friday.

"WTO accession remains on our agenda: we hope to conclude talks in 2010," Medvedev said.

Medvedev stressed the importance of accession to Russia, a key global supplier of oil and gas, as well as to its trading partners.

"Russia will continue to be a reliable source of energy and other raw materials. As such, we will remain dependent on the economic well-being of our customers and countries that provide transit services for Russia's exports," he said.

"This is why Russia will continue its efforts to promote a legally binding agreement on international energy co-operation," he said in a special article for The Economist magazine which was released by the Kremlin.

Medvedev said Russia, in need of modernising often dilapidated industrial machinery, would "remain large importers of new equipment, technology and services."

"In other words, Russia sees itself as part of the global trade system, and wants to build stronger, more friendly and comfortable relations with all our partners."

Russia is the sole remaining major economy not to be integrated in the WTO system. Tortuous talks on joining started in 1993, but the United States called Russia's accession into question after its war with Georgia in August 2008.

In June this year, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced that Russia wanted to join at the same time as former Soviet satellites Belarus and Kazakhstan, with all three countries forming their own customs union.

However, Medvedev subsequently said that it would be "more simple and realistic" for Russia to join on its own.

In September, Putin accused the United States of trying to block Russia's accession, after which Washington came out in favour of Russia joining.