Putin Signs WTO Accession Protocol – Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed on Saturday a federal law that authorizes the protocol for Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Kremlin said.

The protocol on Russia’s accession to the Marrakesh Agreement, the foundation document for the WTO, was signed in Geneva on December 16, 2011 after almost 18 years of negotiations.

The document which has earlier been ratified by both houses of Russian parliament, stipulates that Russia, as a WTO member state, will undertake to comply with the obligations of the Marrakesh Agreement.

The transition period to liberalization of access to Russia’s markets is two to three years, but this is extended to five to seven years for markets requiring more protection such as the automobile industry and agriculture, agricultural machinery production and light industry.

In late June, a group of 131 deputies from the opposition Communist and A Just Russia parties challenged the constitutionality of the WTO accession protocol, claiming the procedure for submitting it to the lower house of parliament for ratification had been breached.

The Russian opposition has claimed on many occasions that Russia’s accession to the WTO was detrimental to Russia’s national sovereignty and security and could ruin whole sectors of the domestic economy.

The Highest Court however ruled legitimate the country’s WTO accession protocol on July 10.


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