Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he hopes to discuss in details Russia's long-debated accession to the World Trade Organization during his visit to the United States next week. Russia has been trying to enter the WTO since 1993, while the process normally takes other countries 5-7 years. "We've been led around by the nose for a long time," Medvedev said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, adding that other countries "whose economies couldn't be called market-based" have already joined the WTO.
He said American partners have promised their support for the Russian bid and that is what he wanted to discuss with his U.S. colleague so that Russia would finally join the organization. "As people say here [in the United States] — the ball is in the U.S. court," Medvedev added. In June 2009, the heads of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan said they would join the WTO as a united customs territory. However, in October the same year, the three countries announced they would resume negotiations on joining the WTO separately, but on coordinated positions.