Russia would become the 154th country to enter the WTO (after an almost two decade long accession process) once its accession protocol gets ratified by its National Legislature. The ratification of the accession is supposed to be held today. I had blogged about the accession process here, here and here.
Signs of protest to the accession were reported recently here. However, whether there is widespread resistance to the accession is not known. Doubts whether Russia would actually accede due to domestic political complusions has been expressed by this ECIPE paper here. The opposition parties had also challenged the accession in the judiciary but the highest court of law in Russia upheld the accession as being constitutional as reported here.
(Courtesy news 24)
Would the accession be ratified and would Russia be a player in the multilateral trading system like 153 other countries? It would also be interesting to see what special terms of the Accession protocol would Russia have agreed to - the WTO plus provisions. Having seen China agree to a whole lot of additional obligations (in its Special Accession protocol)but still gain immensely from its participation in the WTO in the last decade, would the Russian engagement be a trade off between obligations and perceived benefits?