Russia-US: talks about WTO accession in Moscow

Bilateral talks between the United States and Russia towards Russian accession to the World Trade Organization continue in Moscow. Russia's Finance Minister said a breakthrough was achieved in the area of financial services.

Aleksey Kudrin added Russia would now allow foreign insurance companies to open direct offices in Russia. The U.S. has also compromised – it dropped a demand for foreign banks to be allowed to open direct branches in Russia. These talks with the U.S. are Russia's last remaining hurdle to WTO accession, but Reuters reported that the U.S. side said no deal had been finalized.  Agreements have not yet been reached on access to Russia's agricultural markets, and on intellectual property issues.