Putin instructed to revise Russia’s strategy in the WTO

The President also instructed to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the measures taken by WTO members in relation to Russia, for compliance with the principles of the organization

President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to analyze the restrictions adopted against Russia by countries— members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and submit proposals for updating the strategy for the country's participation in the organization, according to the Kremlin website.

“The Government of Russia to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the adopted in 2022 by the states— members of the World Trade Organization of measures to restrict trade with Russia for their compliance with the rules and principles of this organization,— follows from the list of instructions of the head of state following the meeting on the development of the metallurgical complex.

In addition, Putin instructed the Cabinet of Ministers “to submit proposals for Russia to challenge such measures within the framework of the organization, as well as to update the strategy for Russia's participation in the World Trade organizations».

Russia joined the WTO in 2012. Against the background of the military operation in Ukraine, in mid-March, the WTO received a statement from 14 members of the organization depriving Russia of the most favored nation in trade.

In response, the Russian representative office in the WTO warned of dangers to the multilateral trading system due to aggressive and politically motivated trade restrictions. The mission also accused Western countries of trying to undermine the Russian economy through sanctions. The Foreign Ministry considered Russia's withdrawal from the WTO a “gift to enemies”.

Most favored nation treatment— this is a key principle of the WTO, which implies that when trading with a particular state, member countries enjoy the same privileges. The absence of this status in a country means that any customs duties can be set for it. WTO rules do not provide for the direct possibility of excluding states, but do not prohibit the withdrawal of the most favored nation treatment.

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Nevertheless, on May 17, the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy proposed returning the bill to the authors. The committee pointed out that the authors did not attach the government's conclusion to the document. They also explained that the decision to withdraw Russia from the WTO would allow other countries— members of the organization to impose increased duties on the export of Russian goods.

In March, Russia left the Council of Europe, in April— the UN Human Rights Council, the UN World Tourism Organization, and in May— Council of the Baltic Sea States.

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