Russia’s commercial policy, 2008–11: modernization, crisis, and the WTO accession
This paper examines the commercial policy of Russia during 2008–11, a time of global financial crisis which coincided with an announced Russian modernization programme. In 2008 Russia introduced a development strategy to limit its dependence on natural resources. However, the government relied heavily on this income for the planned modernization programme. The falling price of oil in 2008–9 led to a tightened government budget constraint. This situation induced Russia towards wider use of more traditional instruments of trade policy (such as tariff policy) as well as an import substitution strategy, the creation of the Customs Union, and a pause in the WTO accession process. Russia has been found by the Global Trade Alert (GTA) initiative to be one of the main users of protectionist policies since November 2008. With the oil price recovery, from September 2010 Russia had been back in the WTO accession process on revised terms and conditions. The WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva approved the Accession Package of the Russian Federation on 16 December 2011. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.
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