Russia has agreed to US demands to close the popular music website

The US wants the site closed to fight music piracy. Russia has agreed to close the site in an attempt at improving its chance of gaining membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Russia will close down other websites that infringe copyrights, according to a PDF document on the website of the US Trade Representative.

The US and Russia have agreed to combat piracy by closing down several websites that infringe copyrights, according to the document, which cites as a prime example.

The popular site has been subject to criticism for some time now. Organisations such as the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) have accused several times of being a prime source of music piracy. A US Trade Representative, Susan Schwab, has stated previously that Russia can never be a member of the WTO as long as the county hosts sites such as

The team behind has always denied running an illegal website. They pay fees to the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society (ROMS) which supposedly represents artists and copyright holders in Russia. Artists themselves state they have never received any money from ROMS.

There is fierce international pressure on the Russian government to close down the site. Prices of songs on the website are about one-tenth the price offered on services such as iTunes.