WTO Victories to Open New Opportunities for Russia: Official

The fact that Russia has recently won two disputes before the World Trade Organization opens up new opportunities for Moscow, as the country enters its seventh year as a member of the WTO, says Yekaterina Mayorova, Deputy Director of the Trade Negotiations Department at the Russian Economic Development Ministry.

Russia’s calculations concerning the accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) have been fully justified, Mayorova told told Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

“We do not see any examples of disastrous or dire consequences for any industry in the aftermath of Russia’s accession to the WTO. In agriculture, we have had a growth of more than 12% over the 5 years that followed our accession, and in industry, more than 3%. Moreover, we have quite a few untapped opportunities to protect our market. We have a single customs tariff, which is used in the Customs Union and which is based on Russia’s obligations,” Mayorova said.

According to Mayorova, “The first lawsuit we have won was formally filed against Ukraine. However, considering that the legislation of that country actually copies the European Union’s legislation, the victory in that dispute could influence the outcome of a similar dispute with the EU. We have achieved a truly good result in the dispute with Ukraine, and we will have something to fall back on in our dispute with the European Union,” she explained.

When asked whether a trend towards reducing WTO influence amid trade wars and sanctions is being observed, the expert explained that the trade war had actually been unleashed by one of its members, which accounts for about 13% in global imports.

“Nevertheless, the countries that account for the remaining 87% continue to see the WTO as the only universal system of rules and the only universal organization, which has the necessary tools and mechanisms to coerce its members to fulfill their obligations,” she stressed.