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    Medvedev accuses U.S. of blocking Russia's WTO accession

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    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev accused the United States on Tuesday of blocking Moscow's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    MOSCOW, September 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev accused the United States on Tuesday of blocking Moscow's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    "If not for the U.S. very cautious policy toward Russia's accession to the WTO, and putting it bluntly if the U.S. had not blocked it, we would long have been there [in the WTO]," Medvedev said at a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow.

    Russia is the world's only major economy still outside the WTO. Consent from all 153 WTO members is necessary for a state to join the organization.

    He slammed rumors that there had been a clash in his and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's opinions on WTO membership since Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan decided in June to seek joint accession.

    "This is a mistake. The decision on how to join has been made. We will do it together, or separately, if we fail," Medvedev said.

    "While we are not admitted to the WTO, being kept somewhere in the corridor, at the entrance, we should integrate our economies - Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus," he said.

    Consultations on a joint delegation applying for WTO entry were held in Moscow September 2-3.

    To date, Russia has completed mandatory bilateral negotiations with 60 countries, but has yet to synchronize positions on several issues, including agriculture, export duties for timber, and regulation of some state-controlled companies.

     

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