Washington, D.C. - United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and National Economic Council Director Larry Summers met today with Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, and Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina to discuss Russia becoming a member of the WTO. In that meeting, the United States stressed the importance it places on Russia’s accession. The discussion centered on the steps that would be taken to work together to make that happen. That discussion was frank, constructive and positive, and the assessment of both teams was that real progress was made on substantive issues as well as developing a path forward.
The participants reviewed the action plan that Russian, U.S. and EU negotiators have developed, and discussed how best to move Russian accession to the finish line. They reviewed several unresolved issues, including most importantly the operation of state-owned enterprises, protection of intellectual property rights, and trade in agricultural products and products with encryption, as well as the implementation of our 2006 Bilateral Agreements. They also discussed ongoing bilateral concerns including restrictions on importing agricultural products into Russia. The Russian side explained its plans for the Customs Union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus and the sides discussed the implications of those plans for the accession process. On all of these issues, the participants laid out a plan for future work.
First Deputy Prime Minister Shuvalov and NEC Director Summers agreed that the dialogue at all levels would continue and be intensified. The United States looks forward to Russia becoming a member of the WTO.