President Barack Obama has gotten a happy-birthday phone call from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Besides talking about the president's 50th birthday, the two leaders also talked Wednesday about Russia's effort to join the World Trade Organization this year after nearly 20 years of talks.
White House spokesman Jay Carney says that the presidents took note of the significant progress that's been made in recent weeks toward that goal. And he says that Obama stressed that Russia needs to work with other WTO members to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion.
Russia is by far the largest economy still outside the World Trade Organization, which regulates trade between its 153 member states.