Russia needs to keep its place in the World Trade Organization despite Ukraine-related Western sanctions, Economy Minister Maxim Reshetnikov said in response to a bill demanding Moscow quit the WTO.
“In an attempt to deprive Russia of the benefits of WTO membership, a group of sanctioning countries is attempting to limit Russia’s participation in the activities of the organization, viewing this as a tool to isolate the Russian economy. We actively oppose these attempts,” the minister was quoted by the RBC media group as saying.
In his official response, dated May 5 and seen by the news outlet, Reshetnikov provided several arguments against leaving the trade body. Firstly, he said the WTO is a valuable tool in supporting Russian exports, and withdrawal would create risks for both Russian businesses and citizens, especially given the need to divert trade flows to markets of friendly or neutral countries. Since WTO rules provide a legal basis for relations within the organization, normal trade ties would be impossible to develop if Russia were to quit the club, the minister said.