Ukraine is ready to support Russia`s bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Ukrainian prime minister said on Thursday.

"Ukraine will fully support Russia`s desire to join the WTO," Yulia Tymoshenko said at her meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in the Moscow Region.

Russia started WTO accession talks in 1995. The latest round of talks with the 153-member global trade organization collapsed in late July, but the top negotiator, Maxim Medvedkov, who is the director of the Russian Economic Development Ministry`s trade talks department, said then that the parties could still return to the negotiating table later this year.

Ukraine joined the WTO in May. The agreement of all 153 WTO members is necessary for a state to join the global trade body.

Medvedkov also earlier said the absence of diplomatic relations with Georgia would not pose an obstacle for Russia`s entry into the World Trade Organization.

"There are a lot of countries in the world that do not maintain diplomatic relations. For example, this concerns the United States and Cuba, Armenia and Turkey, and many other countries. Therefore, the absence of bilateral relations, in principle, does not affect membership," he said.

Georgia, which became a WTO member in 2000, broke off diplomatic relations with Russia after Moscow recognized the independence of Georgia`s breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Russia is the only major world economy still outside the WTO.


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