Russia to Enter WTO in 2003?

Russia may be admitted to the World Trade Organisation as early as September 2003 at the WTO meeting in Cancun, if it manages to reach agreements with the U.S. and European Union. This issue is on the agenda of the forthcoming EU meeting in Brussels on Friday.

Currently an observer, Russia may be admitted to the WTO far earlier than 2005, the date which was previously set as a reasonable benchmark for adhesion. Despite the increased power of the less developed countries, which used their support for the campaign against international terrorism as a means to gain more bargaining power in the WTO. Experts agree that if Russia manages to work out a deal with the U.S. and separately satisfy EU demands 2003 is the most likely date for admission.