Russia may join the World Trade Organization (WTO) by the end of the year, the Kremlin press center said on Wednesday. Earlier on Wednesday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev spoke over the phone with the U.S. President Barack Obama about Russia's accession to the WTO. "It was pleasantly admitted that the mutually initiated impulses contributed to significant progress during the talks," the Kremlin said in a statement. "In this regard it is stressed that solving the priority issue, Russia's accession to the WTO by the end of the year, is viewed as rather real." Russia has been in membership talks with the 153-nation WTO for 17 years and remains the only major economy still outside the organization.