Russia , Vietnam complete WTO entry talks



Russia and Vietnam have successfully completed bilateral talks on Russia 's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the economics ministry said Friday.

"The negotiations on the mutual access to domestic markets between Russia and Vietnam in the process of Russia 's accession to the WTO, which started in March 2007, have been completed," the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade said in a statement.

According to the ministry, the WTO agreement regulates all bilateral issues regarding access to the markets, including tariffs, technical barriers, sanitary and veterinary restrictions.

The Russian WTO Accession project has been in progress since September 2005 and is expected to continue until the end of 2007, when Russia could finally join the organization.

Moscow still has to sign a bilateral agreement with Cambodia , and start WTO talks with Saudi Arabia . It will also have to resume the negotiating process with Georgia , which earlier suspended its WTO agreement with Russia .

Georgia said in May it would cease to block Russia 's bid to join the WTO only after Moscow honors its 2004 commitment to close down its border checkpoints with Georgia 's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia .

Russia expects its membership in the 150-nation organization to further promote its market reform and ensure better transparency, as well as provide a secure business environment for trade and investment.

Membership will also help Russia diversify its economy, participate in projects to develop future common trade rules and promote its interests on global markets.