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    Russian, U.S. presidents meet on fringes of APEC summit

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart, George W. Bush, met Sunday for bilateral talks on the sidelines of this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi.

    HANOI, November 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart, George W. Bush, met Sunday for bilateral talks on the sidelines of this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi.

    Talks between Putin and Bush on the APEC fringes came just days after their luncheon in Moscow, where the American leader had made a brief stopover en route to Asia Wednesday.

    A Kremlin spokesman said ahead of the Hanoi meeting that American sanctions against Russian state-run arms dealer Rosoboronexport and military aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi would be high on the agenda, along with the fight against terrorism, post-war reconstruction in Iraq, and regional conflicts. The sanctions, involving a ban on financial operations and the denial of export licenses, had been imposed as part of a U.S. effort to stop the export of arms into Syria and Iran.

    According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Bush told Putin at their APEC meeting about Washington's decision to lift the sanctions against Sukhoi, the manufacturer of advanced Flanker fighters.

    "We hope the sanctions against Rosoboronexport will be lifted as well," Lavrov said.

    In July this year, Washington accused the two Russian companies, as well as several counterparts from India and North Korea, of violating the U.S. Nonproliferation Act of 2000 by selling weapons to Iran. Russia denied any wrongdoing, saying all of its weapons deals are in line with international regulations.

    Earlier on Sunday, Russian Economics Minister German Gref and U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab signed an agreement on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization, paving the way for Russia's entry into the world's largest trade body.

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