MOSCOW, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — Russiaofficially became the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 156th member Wednesday.
Since it filed a formal application to join the WTO’s predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1993, Russia has encountered various challenges from both home and abroad but secured final approval to join the Geneva-based world body last December.
The following is a list of major milestones on Russia’s path toward WTO accession:
1995: After three years of preparatory discussions with the WTO, Russia started formal accession negotiations.
1998: Russia submitted to the WTO a Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime that would make it possible to conduct bilateral talks. However, little progress was made in the year as the Russian federal government was busy coping with a socio-economic crisis.
2000: President Vladimir Putinproclaimed WTO accession as the priority of Russia’s foreign trade policy work and said the country should become a WTO member before the end of 2004. The Russian government then took various measures, such as cuts in tariffs and adjustments in legislation, to accelerate its bid.
2004: Russia received China’s endorsement to join the WTO, and made an important breakthrough in talks with the European Union(EU).
2009: Russia surprised many by announcing it would withdraw its WTO application and start accession talks as part of a planned customs union with Belarus and Kazakstan. Russia later relaunched its WTO entry efforts.
2010: Russia concluded negotiations with the United Statesin October and signed with the EU a Memorandum of Understanding supporting its WTO accession.
2011: The 8th WTO ministerial meeting in Geneva in December officially approved Russia’s accession.
2012: President Putin in July signed into law a protocol ratifying the accession, the last legal procedure needed for Russia to become a WTO member.
- Pains and Gains for Russia’s WTO entry 2012-08-22
- 18 years of Russia’s WTO bid 2012-08-22
Editor:James |Source: Xinhua