Russia Formally Gets Accepted into WTO

World | December 16, 2011, Friday // 19:37|  views

Elvira Nabiullina (L), Russian Economic Devt Minister, and Pascal Lamy, WTO Director-General show their satisfaction after the signing of the accession of the Russian Federation to the WTO, Geneva, 16 December 2011. EPA/BGNES

Russia has formally been admitted into the World Trade Organization after an 18-year wait.

Russia's bid was approved Friday at a WTO conference chaired by Nigeria's finance minister Olusegun Aganga.

Russia has been the only member of the Group of 20 leading world economies and the so-called BRICS emerging countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – still outside the 153-nation WTO.

Its admission will be sealed early next year after ratification from the Russian Duma, which will make Russia liable to WTO rules for international trade and settling disputes.

Russia's membership takes effect 30 days after it notifies WTO that the Russian Duma has ratified the move.

Experts have pointed out that WTO membership would provide a boost for Russia's heavily state-managed economy by giving outside investors more confidence because the nation would be subject to international trade rules.

"The EU has high expectations of Russia as a responsible partner able to respect rules," EU trade chief Karel De Gucht told the WTO, as cited by international media.

Russia's WTO accession is supposed to be a boost for its biggest trading partner, buying 52% of Russia's exports. Russia is the third-biggest customer for EU exports, after the USA and China.

Russia's WTO membership is expected to quickly increase EU exports by some EUR 4 B a year, EU trade officials say.

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