Presidents Bush and Putin after an APEC group photo in Hanoi (epa)
November 19, 2006 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has thanked U.S. President George W. Bush for a bilateral trade deal that paves the way for Moscow to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Putin said the bilateral trade deal, concluded on November 19 on the fringes of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Hanoi, would not have been possible without Bush's political will.
Russia is the world's only major economy still outside the WTO.
Bush said the trade deal is good both for Russia and the United States. He said he had also discussed with Putin how to resolve a number of international problems, such as the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea.
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.