Russia, U.S. set to boost economic dialogue

Russia and the United States intend to intensify their dialogue on mutual investment and Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Wednesday.

Several top Russian officials, including Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, are planning to pay visits to the United States in the near future, Ivanov told Russian journalists in Washington, where he held talks with several high-ranking U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“All these [talks] will focus not on security issues, but on economic and investment issues, including [Russia’s] WTO bid,” he said.

Russia has been in membership talks with the 153-nation WTO for 17 years and remains the only major economy still outside the organization. It is expecting to join the global trade club by the end of this year.

U.S. President Barack Obama told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he was committed to support Russia’s bid to join the WTO during a telephone conversation in late March.

However, opposition to Russia’s WTO membership still exists in the U.S. Congress, Ivanov said.

“We are certainly ready to face this [opposition]. There are always those who are ready to attach many other problems – such as human rights or judicial discrimination – to the issue. This list is well-known and does not surprise us,” he said.

Ivanov was speaking after talks in Washington with high-ranking U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


WASHINGTON, April 6 (RIA Novosti)

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