WTO officially welcomes Russia to the club

Delegates attend the opening of a World Trade Organization ministerial conference delayed due to technical problems, on December 15, 2011 in Geneva (AFP Photo / FABRICE COFFRINI)
The WTO has officially welcomed Russia as its newest member at a ceremony in Geneva. Ratification scheduled for next summer will put the final dot in the long running story.

The agreement on Russia's accession to the WTO was signed at a WTO Ministerial conference by Russian Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina and WTO General Secretary Pascal Lamy.

Russia will become a full member of the WTO by the summer 2012, after the documents are ratified by the country’s officials.

Pascal Lamy, Director General of the WTO, stressed the move would have broad effect on all parties involved.

“We should not underestimate the significance of this event. Russia's entry will have a profound impact on the nation, its trading partners, the WTO and the multilateral trading system.”