Russian Parliament Approves WTO Entry

Posted July 18th, 2012 at 5:45 am (UTC-5)
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Russian lawmakers have ratified the country's membership in the World Trade Organization, leaving President Vladimir Putin's signature as the last step in a bid that has taken nearly two decades to complete.

The upper house of Russia's parliament gave its approval Wednesday. The lower house backed WTO entry last week.

Russia was the last of the world's major economies outside the WTO before the 153-member group officially accepted the country in December.

In exchange, Russia has agreed to cap tariffs, limit subsidies and allow foreign banks to operate more freely. Some businesses oppose joining the WTO, which establishes and monitors global trade rules, saying they will be unable to compete in world markets.

Russia first applied for WTO membership in 1993.