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US, Russia Agree on Terms for Russia to Join WTO


The United States and Russia say they hope to sign a formal agreement next week that paves the way for Russia to join the World Trade Organization.

The two sides announced an agreement in principle Friday that covers tariffs on agricultural and industrial goods, access to Russian financial markets, and Moscow's protection of intellectual property rights.

Terms of the agreement were not released. U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said the two countries are still finalizing the details but hope to sign a formal document at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hanoi next week.

The United States has been the last W.T.O. member to reach an bilateral pact with Russia. Moscow would then enter into membership negotiations with the entire trade organization.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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