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Russia not yet ready for the membership in the World Trade Organization

April 15, 2013, 10:55 UTC+3
Though the WTO entry negotiations had been on for 18 years, there are neither appropriate regulatory acts, nor the decisions for the financial support of this process yet
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The auditors of the Accounts Chamber of Russia checked how Russia fulfils the commitments, which Russia assumed after the accession in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The results, which were made public on Friday, turned out to be deplorable, the Novye Izvestia daily reported. Though the WTO entry negotiations had been on for 18 years, there are neither appropriate regulatory acts, nor the decisions for the financial support of this process yet. The Russian regions are also not ready for the life within this international organization. This negligence threatens Russia with large fines, which will be paid from the budget.

Despite the fact that Russia entered the WTO back in August 2012, now the Russian state authorities cannot adopt regulatory legal acts, which would regulate the membership of the country in this organization, the newspaper noted. In particular, the documents are not ready for the establishment of a permanent Russian office at the WTO.

The auditors praised the Russian authorities for the fact they “are doing a considerable work for the adaptation of the industries of the Russian economy to new conditions of Russian membership in the WTO,” but, meanwhile, they noted that the necessary measures are not always taken timely and in the required amount. For instance, the state support system of Russia exports cedes much to foreign counterparts in its scale and efficiency. The Accounts Chamber also finds it necessary to expand the support of agriculture.

The auditors noted separately the unpreparedness of Russian regions to the conditions of membership in the WTO. The monitoring of the influence that Russia’s accession to the WTO exerts on the socio-economic development of the federal constituents is being conducted at the federal level. In most regions regulatory legal acts and methodological recommendations of adaptation of their economy to the functioning in the WTO conditions lack. Meanwhile, a permanent system of cooperation between federal and regional state authorities on this issue is also absent.

It turns out that the Russian officials had negotiated the WTO entry since 1993, for the whole 18 years, and did not think about the simplest things, the newspaper stated. From the point of the view of the stranger it looks like traditional Russian arbitrariness. “Any mistakes and shortcomings can cost very much to us in the WTO,” director of the Centre of Political Information Alexei Mukhin told the Novye Izvestia daily. “Our partners in the WTO got the knack of looking for such shortcomings and then levying large fines. This will be quite a strong blow to the budget. In most above-mentioned issues the claims should be made to technical executors, that is, to the officials, who are in charge of these processes,” he underlined.

 

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