EU, Russia reach deal paving way to WTO membership

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union says it has reached a deal with Moscow to settle outstanding trade issues which should smooth the way for Russia to become a member of the World Trade Organization next year.

EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso is to meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Tuesday and said that the agreement marked a “milestone” in relations.

Russia is the only major trading power which is not part of the Geneva-based WTO and over the past years had been working to settle bilateral trade issue ranging from export duties to meat import restrictions.

Barroso said that “Russia becoming a WTO member in 2011 is a realistic perspective.”

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