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    Russia’s Anti-WTO Accession Movement Gains Momentum

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    NTDTelevision

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    Russia plans to join the World Trade Organization in the spring session, but opponents say integration would weaken Russia's underdeveloped economy. A union of public and business organizations is trying to persuade the government to hold a referendum on accession.

    Content: Russia is planning to join the World Trade Organization by the summer time.

    This accession is needed to strengthen Russia’s position in the international market and receive the right to participate in shaping international trade rules.

    Russian authorities are promising to protect the interests of domestic producers.

    However, some experts say that joining the organization will lead to a partial loss of the country’s sovereignty and a weakening of its economy.

    [Maxim Kalashnikov, Russian Blogger]:
    "Joining the WTO is a deep political issue. It will compromise the sovereignty of our country. This is a rejection of freedom in times of acute international crisis, when in need of national revival and re-industrialization."

    In order to fulfil the basic requirements of the WTO, Russia will be reducing taxes on imported and exported goods, which will lead to an increase of foreign goods in the market.

    Experts say it could lead to a drop in domestic production and in the country’s number of manufactures.

    [Konstantin Babkin, President, "Rosagromash" Association]:
    "The opening of the market is simply uncalled for. Other countries do nothing for us; not a single thing is changing in their laws. But we have to open our market to the hundreds, nothing in return. Losses are estimated to be trillions of rubles a year. "

    The Russian economy could lose up to 1.5 trillion rubles a year after joining the WTO, according to experts’ preliminary calculations...