Russian Parliament Approves WTO Membership

Posted July 10th, 2012 at 7:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Russia's lower house of parliament has approved the country's entry into the World Trade Organization, a longtime goal of Kremlin leaders.

When the upper house passes the bill and President Vladimir Putin signs it, Russia will officially become a WTO member 30 days after that.

Joining the WTO has been a major goal for Russia since the Soviet Union collapsed 20 years ago.

WTO members had blocked Russian membership because of human rights concerns and regional trade disputes. It was finally allowed to join under a deal reached with the WTO in December.

But some Russian politicians opposed membership. They say it requires the country to cut tariffs on some imported goods with no immediate way to recover the lost revenue.