Russia admitted to World Trade Organisation

December 17th, 2011 - 6:48 am ICT by IANS  

Geneva, Dec 17 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Global trade ministers Friday accepted Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The accession protocol was signed for Russia by Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina and for the WTO, by its Director General Pascal Lamy.

Russian deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov, President of the Swiss Confederation Micheline Calmy-Rey, and WTO ministers attended the ceremony of signing the accession protocol.

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 when Georgia attacked South Ossetia to bring it back under Tbilisi’s central control.

After the war, Russia recognised the independence of South Ossetia and another ex-Georgian republic, Abkhazia.

Earlier Friday, WTO ministerial conference approved all the documents relating to Russia’s accession to the organisation including commitments on market access for goods and services.

Russia will become a full member of this international organisation with all its rights and responsibilities within 30 days of Russian ratification, expected to occur in the summer of 2012, Russian officials at the conference said.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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