Russia ‘too big’ to stay outside WTO

Russia, the world’s sixth largest economy, will inevitably join the World Trade Organization (WTO), President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.

“The sixth largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity and a country as big as Russia can not be outside the WTO,” Medvedev said at a meeting with Germany leaders in Berlin.

Russia has been working to join the WTO since 1993. The last remaining obstacle for its entry has been Georgia, which has refused to approve Russia’s entry ever since the two countries fought a brief war in August 2008.

Russia’s chief WTO negotiator Maxim Medvedkov said last week Moscow and Tbilisi had reached a compromise deal with the help of Swiss mediators on monitoring goods crossing the borders of the former Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Russia and Georgia will reportedly sign the agreement that gives a green light on Russian accession to the trade body on Wednesday, France Press said quoting sources close to the deal as saying.

If Russian-Georgian deal succeeds, the WTO’s 153 member states will consider Russia’s bid on December 15-17. After this Russia will ratify its WTO documents and become a full-fledged WTO member in a 30-day term.


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