The United States has poured cold water over speculation that Russia is about to join the World Trade Organisation. Speaking in St Petersburg, U.S.President George Bush said: “We are tough negotiators and the reason why is because we want the agreement that we reach to be accepted by our US congress.”
Correspondents say Russian president Vladimir Putin had been hoping accession to the WTO would crown the success of this weekend’s world economic summit in St Petersburg. Although negotiations are continuing, it will be some time yet before an accord is reached. But diplomats said progress had been made on most of the outstanding differences.