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US offers `constructive support' to Russia's WTO entry news
22 September 2009

The United States has promised "constructive support" to Russia's entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and US trade representative Ron Kirk has promised to work towards that end.

Kirk's statement comes after he and Russian deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov held discussions on a range of bilateral and multilateral trade issues, including US exports of agricultural products, protection of intellectual property rights, and licensing procedures for certain information technology products.

"Ambassador Kirk welcomed the prospect of renewed engagement with Russia on its WTO accession negotiations following a period of uncertainty regarding Russia's intentions," a USTR release said.

"However he again noted that progress in these multilateral negotiations has always depended, and will still depend, on Russia's dedication and work toward that end," the statement added.

On Monday, Russia's prime minister Vladimir Putin had said he expected the US to back a joint bid by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan to join the WTO after its decision to scrap missile defence plans for Europe.

US president Barack Obama on Thursday announced the dropping of plans to deploy a missile shield in the Czech Republic and Poland.

"I expect that this correct and brave decision will be followed by others, including the complete removal of all restrictions of high technology transfers to Russia and more active efforts to enlarge the World Trade Organisation to include Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus," Putin said at an investment forum in the Black Sea city of Sochi.

Russia, the world's only major economy still outside the WTO, has for years been waiting for the United States to lift its Cold War-era restrictions on technology exports to the Soviet Union and other Communist-bloc countries.

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US offers `constructive support' to Russia's WTO entry