Obama congratulates Medvedev on Russia`s WTO entry

In Geneva, the WTO gave its second and final approval for Russia`s membership in the trade body after a record 18-year quest to join.

Washington: US President Barack Obama congratulated his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on his country`s entry into the World Trade Organisation, the White House said.
"The Presidents hailed this achievement as yet another result of the reset in bilateral relations, which will benefit both the United States and Russia," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

In Geneva, the WTO yesterday gave its second and final approval for Russia`s membership in the trade body after a record 18-year quest to join.

Carney said the two presidents, among other things, discussed over a phone call the recent elections and subsequent demonstrations in Russia.

The US President raised the reports of "flaws in the way the elections were conducted, and welcomed Medvedev`s commitment to investigate these allegations", he said.

"Obama also noted the peaceful demonstrations held throughout Russia, and praised how Russian government authorities enabled the permissive conditions that allowed these demonstrations to occur peacefully and lawfully.

"Obama noted how this expression of civil society is consistent with the modernising Russia that President Medvedev has sought to foster over the last four years. The two presidents said they looked forward to meeting next at the
Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea in March 2012,"
Carney said.

He said Russia`s membership in the WTO will lower tariffs, improve access to Russia`s services markets, hold the Russian government accountable to a system of rules governing trade behaviour and provide the means to enforce those rules.

"Russia`s membership in the WTO will generate more export opportunities for American manufacturers and farmers, which in turn will support well-paying jobs in the United States," he said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is on a three-day visit to Moscow, has also welcomed Russia`s entry into the trade body even as he voiced concern over the current Indo-Russian trade volume of USD nine billion being far below its potential.

Carney added that Obama told Medvedev the Administration was committed to working with Congress to end the application of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to Russia in order to ensure that American firms and American exporters enjoy the same benefits of Russian WTO membership as their international


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