Russia seals WTO accession

Russia has crossed the winning post in its 18-year run for WTO accession. The working group in Geneva cleared all the remaining hurdles for Moscow's long awaited membership.

This means Russia is now almost certain to make its official entry in December at a meeting of ministers.

The decision was prompted by Russia and Georgia finally reaching an agreement on regulating customs on the borders with Sourth Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The accession terms are yet to be published, but a WTO negotiator told RT that

"participants are not fully satisfied with accession terms, but in Geneva if no-one is happy, it means the deal is fair.”

The documents will be rubber stamped at by the WTO Ministers on December 15-17.There has never been a case when a ministerial meeting has failed to approve a country's accession following a working  group's verdict

And the last formality – the ratification  process by Russia – should be complete by June 15, making the country a full fledged WTO member.

Dr. Alexander Libman, a Frankfurt-based professor of the international political economy, told RT all the parties involved would benefit from Russia's accession to the WTO, though its impact would not be immediately felt:

"In the short run, the benefits will be small for all participants, but in the long run, it’s a win-win scenario, so the majority will clearly benefit from Russia’ accession to the WTO, both in Russia, and worldwide, though benefits will be on Russia’s side, from my point of view," Libman said.

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