Ivanov, evans tackle key economic issues ahead of Moscow summit

Key issues on the trade and economy agenda of the upcoming US-Russian summit in Moscow were discussed at a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and US Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, Ivanov told reporters after the meeting Thursday. "Economic cooperation is to become the supporting structure to the entire mechanism of the strategic new relationship between the two countries," Ivanov pronounced. He noted that the meeting's agenda featured pressing issues, such as recognizing Russia's status as a market economy, Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization, and development of the US-Russian Business Dialogue. He went on to say that more troublesome issues, like Russian steel imports to the United States, removal of the remaining trade barriers, and the definitive lifting of the 'anachronistic' Jackson-Vanik amendment, were also tackled. As he put it, "We are united in [the belief] that the resolution of these issues would give a powerful boost to the progress of the bilateral economic ties." Furthermore, Ivanov disclosed that energy cooperation had come up at the meeting. According to him, a joint statement will be signed at the Moscow summit on cooperation in energy dialogue. He then pointed out that imports of US poultry into Russia had resumed. As of now, he said, more than a dozen Russian importers have been granted permission to import poultry. Ivanov said over 700,000 metric tons of US chicken had been imported into Russia since the ban had been lifted.

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