Obama praises Russia’s expected joining of WTO

HONOLULU (AP) ? (AP) ? President Barack Obama says Russia’s expected entrance into the World Trade Organization is a testament to President Dmitry Medvedev’s (dih-MEE’-tree med-VYEH’-dyev’s) hard work and will be good for the United States, Russia and the world.

Russia is expected to join the WTO next year. If Russia joins the trade organization, Congress will have to vote on approving permanent normal trade relations.

The U.S. currently denies this status to Russia under Jackson-Vanik, a 1974 law intended to pressure the Soviet Union to allow emigration, primarily of Jews.

Obama says it’s a good time to consult with Congress about ending the application of the law to Russia.

Medvedev thanked Obama for his support on the WTO and said Russia had never received similar support from any previous U.S. administration.