Multilateral relations

Russia's WTO accession

On 22 August 2012 Russia joined the WTO as its 156th member after 18 years of negotiations. As the EU is Russia's first trading and investment partner, Russia being EU's third trading partner, this was particularly important for the EU.

With the WTO accession, Russia will:

  • lower its import duties (average final bound tariff of  7.8% down from the average of 10%);
  • limit its export duties;
  • grant greater market access for services providers;
  • facilitate rules and procedures in many areas affecting bilateral economic relations.

Of particular importance are regulations on customs procedures, the use of health and sanitary measures, technical standards and the protection of intellectual property.

WTO accession brings opportunities for Russia, not only in terms of further integration into the world economy, but also because it will help modernise the Russian economy by increasing investment, competition and technology transfer.

Apart from the multilateral deal four bilateral agreements were signed by the EU and Russia:

WTO membership offers opportunities for a qualitatively new step in EU-Russia economic relations, in particular perspectives for the negotiations of the New EU-Russia Agreement, launched in June 2008, which should replace and go beyond the existing Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA).

Russia's OECD accession negotiations

Following WTO accession, Russia is now actively engaged in its OECD accession process.

On 30 November 2007, the OECD Council approved the so-called road-map to accession, which formally launched the process by setting up the negotiating framework for Russia. Technical examination has been ongoing since 2008 in 22 technical committees.

Russia is currently addressing a number of outstanding issues in different policy areas, including trade and investment, environment, chemicals and anti-corruption.

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