Talks on Russian membership in the World Trade Organization could be finished in the spring of 2005, Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Maxim Medvedkov told reporters. According to him, it is planned to complete both bilateral and multilateral talks as soon as this year, and "problems that will be outstanding as of that time will be finally sorted out" by next spring. Medvedkov underlined that it was difficult to predict when the talks on Russia's admission to the WTO would be finished, as Russia "has influence on one side of this process only." Earlier it was planned to complete the talks before the end of 2004.
Russian President Vladimir Putin got the West worried again by signing Decree No. 915. The news did not produce any public effect in Russia