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Dominic FEAN

Decoding Russia's WTO Accession

Russie.Nei.Visions No. 64, February 2012

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As Moscow and the WTO Member States have finally established terms on which Russia will accede to the organization, thoughts turn to the impact of this historic event and the potential for it to play a role in the modernization of the country’s economy. The process has been long, with Russia having to negotiate bilateral accession protocols with the more than fifty WTO member states. The numerous delays have been driven more by political considerations than by economic ones. As such, accession can be expected to have important political effects, indicating Russia’s renewed interest in international cooperation. However, uncertainty over how the regime will develop after the March 2012 presidential elections could have a significant impact on how Russia implements its international obligations, and how profound domestic reform is.

An earlier version of this paper was presented at a conference organized by Ifri in the framework of the Eurasian Trade Task Force (ETTF), 17 October 2011. The ETTF addresses the different commercial and economic integration projects in Eurasia and their impact on domestic and foreign policies of the states concerned.

Dominic Fean is a Junior Research Fellow at Ifri’s Russia/NIS Centre. He is a graduate of King’s College London and the University of Sheffield. His research interests include: EU-Russia relations and the shared neighborhood; Ukraine; and the evolution of economic integration projects in Eurasia.

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