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Putin expects to complete WTO accession talks this year

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he expected to complete talks on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization by year-end.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he expected to complete talks on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization by year-end.

"I hope and expect we will complete the [accession] process this year. We did our best to make this happen," Putin said in an interview with the Chinese media.

He said that major obstacles on Russia's way to the global trade body have been overcome, and the issue is purely political and "depends on our main partners" in Europe and the United States.

He said that WTO membership would "in general have a positive effect on the Russian economy," but only if Russia joins the organization "on standard terms and with compulsory agreements to protect certain sectors of the Russian economy until they become truly competitive."

Russia, the only major economy still outside the WTO, has brought its laws in accordance with the WTO demands and reached agreement with all major negotiation partners, Putin said.

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