WTO membership is likely to affect Russian monopolies

In an interview to a Russian TV channel, Russia’s Economic Development Minister German Gref warned that monopolies may face tough competition once Russia joins the World Trade Organisation.

He said, however, that some sectors, like agriculture, will see little impact from WTO membership.

In this respect, Vladimir Yakunin, the president of the Russian Railways monopoly, assured the company would not be affected if Russia joins the WTO.

“Russian Railways will not be affected in any way by WTO membership or have any difficulties in terms of Russian markets being open to European competitors. Russia and Europe have different track gauges and that can already make transit difficult. We have joined the International Railway Union to try to find a solution and establish standard track gauges,” Vladimir Yakunin stated.