Russia in the WTO?
Just a pointer, but why not? I am thinking 'lock-in' of Russia to a path of more cooperative and institutionalised talks, but there might be other factors in play here than the apparent agreement between Putin and Bush. What about Europe and the issue of security of those energy delieverances?
'Moscow and Washington are close to a deal on Russian entry to the World Trade Organisation, which could provide the country with cause for celebration at this weekend’s Group of Eight summit in St Petersburg.
A bilateral deal on WTO entry could also open the way for Russia to announce, during the summit or soon afterwards, that it is pressing ahead with developing the vast Shtokman gas field in the Barents Sea.'
'in an interview with journalists published by the White House, Mr Bush identified access to the Russian market for US agricultural products and protection of intellectual property rights as outstanding issues. He has written to Mr Putin detailing the US position.
“I do believe it’s in our country’s interest to have Russia as a member of the WTO,” he said. “So hopefully we can get it done. I’m optimistic about it.'
'Gernot Erler, Germany’s deputy foreign minister and an expert on Russia, said Berlin did not expect any significant breakthroughs on energy security, in part because of Moscow’s “declining sensitivity [towards] maintaining friendly international relations”.
European Union hopes for Russia to ratify the Energy Charter Treaty were “unlikely to make progress”, he added. Other foreign diplomats said they saw no sign of Russia preparing any other concession to European pressure to open Gazprom’s gas pipeline monopoly to third parties.'