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Russia signs WTO agreement with Cambodia - economics min.-1

(Adds details, background in paras 2-5)

MOSCOW, September 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and Cambodia signed Friday a bilateral agreement on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the economics ministry said in a report.

The agreement was signed in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, by Minister of Commerce of the Kingdom of Cambodia Cham Prasidh and Maxim Medvedkov, director for trade talks at the Russian economics ministry.

Russia has been seeking WTO membership since September 2005 and needs to complete bilateral talks with those WTO members, which have trade issues with Moscow, as well as finishing multilateral discussions within the WTO Working Party of 50 nations.

The latest round of talks on Russia's WTO bid was held in Geneva in late July and focused on customs regulations and free trade zones. Russia's state agricultural subsidies were also high on the agenda as the most sensitive issue. WTO members consider Russia's projected subsidies of $9.2 billion per year to be excessive.

Russia now has to sign agreements with Georgia and Saudi Arabia.

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