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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Begins Another Round of WTO Talks

GENEVA -- Russian foreign trade officials held talks Tuesday with a team from the United States in an effort to inject momentum into Moscow's eight-year bid to win admittance to the World Trade Organization.

The talks, combined with meetings with other delegations to the currently 142-member WTO, come a week after China's 15-year negotiations to get into the body were successfully concluded.

But trade sources said there was little sign of headway in the Russian talks, with the U.S. side insisting that Moscow agree to sign up to a pact on trade in civil aircraft and reform laws on land ownership as part of an entry package.

Russian officials said they had made good progress in bilateral talks on tariff levels covering a range of goods with other countries.

Next week, another delegation will arrive from Moscow to discuss access to its market for services with WTO countries.

"But the major powers are asking us to do things going beyond WTO rules and disciplines, which would be against our economic interests," said Andrei Kushnerenko of the Economic Development and Trade Ministry.

"For this reason, the talks with these powers are difficult."

Kushnerenko, who heads a small team meeting several WTO delegations over the coming days to discuss market access issues, did not name the countries he was referring to.