Russia is counting on support from the U.S. political and business community in joining the World Trade Organization, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday. "Russia's admission to the World Trade Organization would significantly alter the general atmosphere. We would like this and we hope that the U.S. government, the U.S. administration and business community will throw their support behind this idea, because we are tired of sitting in the waiting room trying to join this organization," he said.
Russia has been in negotiations to enter the WTO for over 16 years, and is the only major economy outside of the global trade body. "We have been trying to join it longer than the Chinese did, although our economy is smaller and we generally have sufficiently open rules, understandable to all," Medvedev said. He admitted Russia still had problems with intellectual property rights protection, a major impediment to WTO accession, but vowed to tackle them, adding it was a priority for the Russian government.
In June 2009, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus notified the WTO of their intention to join the world trade club as a customs union. Four months later, the three former Soviet republics announced they would resume talks on WTO accession separately, but working from synchronized positions.