HANOI - Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked his US counterpart George W. Bush here Sunday for a trade deal paving the way for Moscow to join the World Trade Organisation, saying it would ease cooperation on other global issues.
He was speaking after meeting Bush at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, where Russia was among 21 members who issued a joint statement voicing ‘strong concern’ about North Korea’s nuclear bomb test.
The Russian president said reaching the trade pact essential for Moscow’s admission to WTO membership ‘would not have been possible without the political will of the US president.’
‘I agree with George that this creates a favourable background for all our activities, including solving complicated international problems,’ said Putin.
‘It also creates conditions for broadening trade relations.’
After their meeting, Bush said: ‘Our dialogue was important. We talked about common issues, how we’re going to solve important problems, including North Korea and Iran.’
On the trade pact, Bush said that ‘this agreement was really good for us, for the United States and Russia. I congratulate you on your hard work.