Accession of the Russian Federation to the World Trade Organization
Russia is the only G8 nation, which is not in the WTO. Moreover, it is the only BRIC nation (Brazil, Russia, India, China) that is still negotiating about accession to the WTO. Many analysts consider that it creates a negative reputation for the country and causes unwillingness of international investors to enter Russian local market. Russian government stated the accession to WTO as the highest priority which would bring considerable economic benefits. But is it really advantageous for the state economy and its population? What threads are hidden in the WTO joining?
Background and Evolution
The first request on accepting USSR as the observer in the GATT was made in 1986. It was declined due to planned economy of the country, which did not meet the principles of the free trade. The WTO Working Party on the Accession of the Russian Federation was established in 1993. The longest and most intensive negotiations were held with the European countries and the USA. After signing Kyoto protocol Russia settled the differences with EU, but the USA remained the main barrier towards successful final. Both countries had disputes in financial, agricultural markets and intellectual property protection. Only in 2006 during Asian-Pacific summit in Hanoi the USA and Russia signed protocol about entering of the RF to the WTO.
Nowadays, Georgia remains the only WTO member that vetoes the Russian accession. Strained relations between two countries were caused by military conflict on Caucasus in 2008. But Georgia is not included in the WTO Working Party on the RF accession and cannot block its working progress ex parte. In 2009 Russian vice-prime minister Igor Shuvalov stated that Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will enter the WTO only as the Customs union, but not separately. The union started its operation in 2010.
Rationale and major features
The main functions of the WTO are liberalizing...