Alexander Shokhin was speaking in Washington late on Friday after talks with Biden as part of a Russian business delegation to the U.S. capital.
"From the start of our meeting the vice president emphasized that he considers Russia's absence from the WTO an anachronism and relic of previous years," Shokhin said. "Furthermore, the vice president refreshed in our memory an old theme, which we have been raising for almost 20 years, about the Jackson-Vanik amendment, and he emphasized that this is also anachronism."
The Jackson-Vanik amendment to a 1974 U.S. trade law restricts trade with countries that have non-market economies and restrict emigration.
Shokhin said that Biden showed the United States understood that "pressing the reset button" in bilateral relations - as the vice president said in his first major foreign policy address in Munich in February - would not work without an economic component.
The industrialists' head said he was encouraged by the U.S. position, and pleased that during the course of their three days of meetings with businesspeople and officials they had been received as equals.
"In the course of our meetings we described in detail the steps that the Russian government is taking to overcome the financial crisis," Shokhin said. "Our views on the global crisis and ways to get out of it were heard with interest by our American counterparts. This means that we are received as equal partners."
The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs delegation included Viktor Vekselberg, the owner of the Renova Group and major shareholder of the TNK-BP oil joint venture; Vladimir Yakunin, head of state-run Russian Railways company; and Oleg Vyugin, the chairman of the MDM-Bank board of directors and former head of the Federal Financial Markets Service.
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