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Russian accession to the WTO—why such a long and difficult road?


  • David Dyker


Russia has been negotiating for accession to the WTO for some ten years, and there is still no prospect of an immediate conclusion to the process. The reasons for this are partly to be found in the international environment. In the past, the geo-strategic concerns of the Western powers have created barriers to Russian integration into global trading structures. Even in the new, post-September 11 environment, existing WTO members have continued to use the WTO accession process as a way of advancing their own commercial policies vis-a-vis Russia. But the main obstacles to speedy accession have been internal. While the Russian government as a whole is strongly in favour of WTO accession as a way of strengthening the market mechanism and reform processes within the country, significant elements within it are equally strongly in favour of high levels of protection for specific sectors, on national security and/or technological/infant industry grounds. While the Russian business community as a whole is divided over the merits of accession, the powerful manufacturing and banking lobbies are demanding levels of protection that would almost certainly be incompatible with accession. Russian views of WTO accession vary widely, within both government and the business community, and anyone who would lobby in favour of accession within Russia must bear this firmly in mind.

Suggested Citation

  • David Dyker, 2004. "Russian accession to the WTO—why such a long and difficult road?," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 3-20.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:pocoec:v:16:y:2004:i:1:p:3-20
    DOI: 10.1080/1463137042000194816

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Dyker, 2000. "The Structural Origins of the Russian Economic Crisis," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 5-24.
    2. Dyker, David A., 2001. "Technology exchange and the foreign business sector in Russia," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 851-868, May.
    3. Philip Hanson, 1997. "What sort of capitalism is developing in Russia?," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 27-42.
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