Russia has joined the World Trade Organization after 18 years negotiating its membership. Russia was by far the biggest economy yet to join the trade organization.
World Trade Organization admitted Russia in an official ceremony in Switzerland last Friday.
Georgia has blocked Russia’s accession since the two countries fought a short war in 2008. A deal between Georgia and Russia removed the last obstacle to Russian bid.
World Trade Organization provides a 153-member forum for international trade liberalization agreements, and also has the capability to decide when rules have been breached and then retaliatory trade sanctions can be imposed.
It is expected that the removal of trade barriers will stimulate greater and more diversified trade between Russia and the rest of the world, and also Russia will boost its economy by some billions of dollars each year.
Russian economy is the third largest export market for European products and services, while Russian exports to the world are, basically, oil and gas.
Some analysts pointed out that the biggest benefit of Russian admission to WTO could be an improvement at Russian business environment, from less competitive to more competitive industries.
By becoming a WTO member, Russia will have to pass some economic rules and regulations that will address the very issues that foreign investors usually complain about, like corruption, the protection of minority shareholders, the independence of the judiciary, and so on.
Alexander Lukashevich, spokesperson at Foreign Ministry of Russia, stated the move will create the right conditions for the further improvement of their business climate, for an influx of foreign investment and for boosting Russian exports while also retaining the possibility of giving support to their key branches of domestic economy.