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Condoleezza Rice (file photo) (official site)
March 30, 2006 -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin's claim that the United States was hampering Russian efforts to negotiate entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Rice said the United States would like to see Russia become a member of the WTO, but that there were issues that still needed to be resolved through negotiation.
Putin said on March 29 that the United States was making new demands on Russia, artificially slowing down the negotiating process.
Russia has been negotiating entry to the WTO for nearly 13 years.
Rice was on her way to Berlin, where she will meet top diplomats from the five permanent UN Security Council members, including Russia, to discuss Iran.
An exhibition of the history of the WTO in Singapore in 1996 (courtesy photo)
Armenia: Joined on 5 February 2003.
Croatia: Joined on 30 November 2000.
Georgia: Joined on 14 June 2000.
Kyrgyzstan: Joined on 20 December 1998.
Macedonia: Joined on 4 April 2003.
Moldova: Joined on 26 July 2001.
Romania: Joined on 1 January 1995.
Countries That Are Not Yet WTO Members:
Afghanistan: Submitted its application in November 2004.
Azerbaijan: Submitted its application in June 1997.
Bosnia-Herezgovina: Submitted its application in May 1999.
Belarus: Submitted its application in September 1993.
Iran: Submitted its application in July 1996.
Iraq: Submitted its application in September 2004.
Kazakhstan: Submitted its application in January 1996.
Russia: Submitted its application in June 1993.
Serbia and Montenegro: Submitted separate applications in December 2004.
Tajikistan: Submitted its application in May 2001.
Ukraine: Submitted its application in November 1993.
Uzbekistan: Submitted its application in December 1994.
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For an exclusive RFE/RL interview with former WTO head MICHAEL MOORE,click here.