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United Russia Party does not support idea to quit WTO

August 22, 2014, 16:45 UTC+3 (updates) < (updates)

Russia joined the WTO in August 2012

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© P Photo/Anja Niedringhaus

MOSCOW, August 22./ITAR-TASS/. Duma members from the United Russia Party, the largest in the lower house, said it was untimely to raise the issue of quitting the WTO and the country should learn to work under conditions of the organization to win foreign markets.

Earlier this Friday, the head of the Communist Party's legal service and deputy head of the Duma Committee for Constitutional Legislation, Vadim Solovyov, told ITAR-TASS that communists planned to submit a draft law to the lower house early next autumn to denounce the protocol on Russia's joining to the World Trade Organization.

Communists always opposed Russia's joining the WTO, saying "nothing but a headache would be received from the organization".

"Factually it is a noose around Russia's neck and an attempt to control our country from outside," Solovyov said.

In response to the sanctions imposed against Russia, the agreement should be urgently denounced, the lawmaker said.

Communist members of the parliament will submit the draft law during the next autumn session and will insists on consideration of the bill first of all, he added.

"I would not do it at the present moment. It took us long time to join the WTO. We now only begin to work under the conditions," Nadezhda Shkolkina, a United Russia General Council member and deputy head of the Duma committee for agrarian affairs, said, commenting on the Communist Party's idea.

She said she saw no damage from the WTO for the domestic agro-industrial sector. "On the contrary, we begin to work under the new rules, use modern forms of support, such as per-hectare and per-product support," she said.

Shkolkina said the communists' proposal was premature. "If to use WTO mechanisms right, it is possible to protect the market and actively enter foreign markets to use them for own products," she said. "We must learn to work under the conditions and win foreign markets," she added.

Deputies are expected to pass a law on organic products that will allow supplying Russian products to EU markets, she said.

Commenting on the proposal to denounce the protocol on Russia's joining to the WTO in case more anti-Russian sanctions are imposed and the WTO is used to put pressure on Russia, Shkolkina said she hoped the things would not go so far.

"All understand well that the war already unleashed, including the economic war, is needed to nobody," she said, adding that in any case it was premature for Russia to quit the WTO.

Russia joined the WTO in August 2012. Before the consideration of the ratification of the protocol on Russia's joining to the Marrakesh agreement, communists and Just Russia members requested the Constitutional Court to check whether the document corresponded to the Constitution, but the court rejected their arguments.

In the spring of 2013, the Duma opposition again submitted a request signed by 101 legislators to the Constructional Court.

Duma Vice-Speaker Ivan Melnikov (CPRF) said legislators noted that there was no view of regions in connection with the planned joining to the WTO, though it was necessary to ask them to give their conclusions.

Besides, a number of important conclusions and supplements were not translated into Russian before the consideration, and many deputies could not study them thoroughly.

The Constitutional Court rejected the legislators' complaints for the second time in July 2014.

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