Russia for WTO: last hurdle to clear

Ahead of the G8 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia's decade-long bid to join the World Trade Organisation could clear its last major hurdle this Friday. Russia and the United States are reckoned heading for a deal before the summit this weekend, clearing th

Debate on membership is not on the official conference agenda, but there have been voices eager to talk about Russia joining, and the implications for the country’s economy. Some experts agreed that Russian business was well-adapted to difficult working conditions of the transition period, equipping it to operate against tougher competition. The verdict rated Russia ready for new rules in the game. Others said that if Russia joined the WTO, there would be some negative moments. The economy had opened, but there were sectors still weak against competition from foreign business. Banking and insurance should be protected from foreign competitors, they said. Agreement between the United States and Russia should enable Russian head of state Vladimir Putin and U.S. President George Bush to sign documents when they meet on the eve of the St. Petersburg summit.