Russia hopes to settle all the questions with the European Union before the end of April.
"We hope before April 22 - when a EU delegation comes to Russia to meet with the president and the prime minister - to settle all the trade-economic questions so as to ink the corresponding statement", Russian Economic Development Minister German Gref said at a cabinet meeting with the president.
"There exist all grounds for that. I think we'll be able to resolve all the questions", he said.
Gref said that two themes were in discussion during consultations with the EU commissioner.
"First, it is the entire package of problems and the Russian concerns over the expansion of the European Union and the possible losses for the Russian economy", he said.
"The negotiations were quite productive, even successful", Gref said. He believes that "the main Russian concerns over trade-economic problems have been 90 percent settled".
"As regards other problems, we have reached political agreement on approaches and the delegations will continue on technicalities", he added.
As to the second theme of the talks - Russia's entry into the World Trade Organisation - the economic development minister noted a serious move forward in this direction. "There is a feeling we can reach agreement", Gref said.
"I would like it so", Vladimir Putin noted.
The difference between the West and the two mighty allies in the East - Russia and China - is enormous. In fact, it is not a difference, but an outright contrast