MOSCOW, November 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia intends to complete all talks on its accession to the World Trade Organization in 2010, the Russian president said.
"WTO accession remains on our agenda: we hope to conclude talks in 2010," Dmitry Medvedev said in his article for The World in 2010, the Economist's annual printed edition, published on Friday.
Russia has been attempting to enter the WTO for over 16 years. Russia is the only major economically sustainable country that has so far not received membership. Other countries such as Cuba and some ex-Soviet states are already members.
"Russia sees itself as part of the global trade system, and wants to build stronger, more friendly and comfortable relations with all our partners," Medvedev wrote.
Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus will launch a Customs Union on January 1, 2010, and turn to the WTO for acceptance, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in October. The three post-Soviet countries agreed in early June to form a customs bloc. Its Customs Code will be presented for approval to the heads of the three states on November 27.
The three countries earlier announced that they would seek to join the World Trade Organization simultaneously, with a joint bid through their Customs Union.