Officials from both sides said final details needed to be worked out for a formal deal to be signed by the countries' top trade negotiators next week in Vietnam.
U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in Hanoi next week for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
Russia is the largest economy outside the 149-member WTO and has been seeking accession for 13 years. The United States is the last major country whose approval it needs to join the body, which sets global trade rules.
The two countries had attempted but failed to resolve differences in time for the Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg in July.
(compiled from agency reports)
COOPERATION, CONFLICT, CONFRONTATION: Relations between Russia and the West are notoriously volatile. "To see the kind of relationship that presidents Bush and Putin have developed and to see Russia firmly anchored in the West, that's really a dream of 300 years, not just of the post-Cold War era," then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said in May 2002.
But observers have increasingly called into question the extent of the shared values between Russia and the West, particularly on issues relating to the transformations going on in other former Soviet countries.
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