Author`s name Pravda.Ru

Russia refuses to fulfill WTO obligations without membership

Countries seeking WTO membership aim to demonstrate their fitness for the group by observing WTO standards and regulations before joining. Such regulations include intellectual property rights; Russia's willingness to curb DVD and CD piracy has been one of the key issues of whether it can join the WTO.

Russia and the United States have failed to reach agreement on the country's accession to the WTO. Bilateral accession negotiations with Washington are Moscow's last impediment to joining.

The reports did not state whether Putin specified a deadline for an agreement to be reached, but the Kremlin has hoped an agreement would come before the Group of Eight summit to be held July 15-17 in St. Petersburg, the AP reports.

"We very much want that," Sergei Prikhodko, Putin's top foreign policy adviser, told reporters Tuesday, according to the AP.

"It won't be a tragedy if a final bilateral agreement is more drawn-out. I think it will come before the G-8; if not, we will continue to work afterwards," he said.