Russian tycoon clashes with US Ambassador over WTO entry

Oleg Deripaska, the head of Russian Aluminium, has clashed with US Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow over the consequences of Russia joining the WTO. The argument took place at a meeting of the board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP).

In a speech to members of the board, Vershbow stressed the need for Russia to join the WTO as soon as possible, which provoked a sharp response from Deripaska. The argument was reportedly quite heated, and Vershbow jokingly reminded his Russian opponent that antidumping investigations in the US into companies connected to Deripaska could be revived. He also said that 'US companies are interested in gaining a trade regime in which the rules are clearly set out and not arbitrary decisions...'

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