Russia and US resolve WTO accession issues: minister

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Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Friday that Moscow and Washington had worked through all of the issues concerning Russia's admission to the World Trade Organization.

"I can say today that we have cleared away all of the questions with the United States regarding Russia's entrance into the WTO," he said at the Yalta economic forum on the shores of the Black Sea in the Ukraine.

Russia will begin the accession process in two to four months and could "theoretically" join the Geneva-based body in 10 months, Kudrin said.

US Under Secretary of State William Burns said earlier this month that Russia is "closer than ever" to joining.

Russia has been in negotiations to join the WTO since 1993 and is the largest economy to remain a non-member. Moscow has repeatedly expressed frustration with the accession process and accused Washington of hindering it.

© 2010 AFP

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