Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov has warned the government that WTO accession would threaten Russia’s national sovereignty and security, the party’s press service reported on Friday.
The lower house of parliament, the State Duma, will debate ratification of the WTO accession protocol on July 4. Russia has until July 23 to complete the ratification process and avoid having to renegotiate the entire agreement.
“Our country is totally unprepared for WTO entry and is doing so on unfavorable terms,” Zyuganov said in an official letter to the government urging rejection of the protocol.
“We receive assurances that Russian goods and services are ready to penetrate onto world markets, but nobody tells us which ones. The main sectors of the economy are in no shape to compete on foreign markets and other industries do not make products that are in demand,” Zyuganov wrote.
WTO membership could threaten the existence of aircraft manufacturing in Russia, where foreign aircraft already account for 80 percent of the civil aviation fleet.
The WTO is also a threat to small and medium-sized businesses, because “most Russian companies, not to mention small enterprises, are not competitive, even on the domestic market,” and cannot survive “without strong state support.”
History and functions of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
In general Russia has no economic incentive for joining the WTO, Zyuganov wrote.
“Russia’s main export items – raw materials, fuel and energy, arms – are not subject to WTO regulation. Therefore, WTO accession will be the final consolidation of Russia’s status as a raw materials appendage of the West and market for global corporations,” the letter said.