Robert Sturdy hails Russian State Duma support for WTO Membership
Brussels, 11th July 2012 – News that the State Duma, Russia’s lower house, has ratified Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation was warmly welcomed by Robert Sturdy, Conservative MEP and Vice Chair of the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee.
Tuesday’s vote removes one of the final obstacles to theRussian Federationjoining the WTO as its 156th member and was seen as a victory against the significant bloc from the Communist party, LDPR and Fair Russia who voted against the motion. All that remains is a similar vote in the upper house and the Presidential signature to bring to an end a process that began with Russia’s application 18 years ago.
Since the WTO Ministerial Conference in December of 2011, where Russia’s application was formally accepted in Geneva, Russia has been working hard to implemented the associated conditions of the multilateral trading system.
Speaking shortly after the announcement, Robert Sturdy signaled a note of cautious optimism:
“As Parliament’s rapporteur on EU-Russia trade relations, Russia’s accession to the WTO is something that I have been following with a keen interest.”
“Trade between the EU and Russia is on the rise. The EU is already by far Russia’s largest market accounting for some 47% of all its trade and Russia is Europe’s 3rd largest trading partner. As Russia adapts to the rules based system that is the bed rock of international commerce, this relationship is expected to go from strength to strength.”
“However, we should not get too carried away. Protectionist barriers, knee jerk reactionary policies, and political sensitivities have tempered Russia’s relations with key markets. Although, Russia has recognised that market opening based on strict rules and obligations is key to attracting much needed investment, much nervousness remains over how Russia will act in reality.”
Robert Sturdy MEP– email@example.com
Tel: 01954 211790 or 0032 2284 7294 or visit: robertsturdymep.com