Relations between Russia and the newly expanded European Union look set to improve after President Vladimir Putin hosts EU officials in Moscow on May 21. The two sides are expected to sign a treaty that will pave the way for Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization. The EU wants Russia to let domestic gas prices rise to market levels but is backing away from demands for full liberalization now. In return for Brussels softening its position, Russia may soon meet a key EU demand by signing the Kyoto Protocol on environmental emissions.
Edited by Rose Brady