Talks on Russian membership in the World Trade Organization could be finished in the spring of 2005, Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Maxim Medvedkov told reporters. According to him, it is planned to complete both bilateral and multilateral talks as soon as this year, and "problems that will be outstanding as of that time will be finally sorted out" by next spring. Medvedkov underlined that it was difficult to predict when the talks on Russia's admission to the WTO would be finished, as Russia "has influence on one side of this process only." Earlier it was planned to complete the talks before the end of 2004.
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land