Russia pledges to defend its farmers

At a Moscow conference, a Russian official makes the case that the government will still be able to protect its farmers after the country’s entry into the World Trade Organization: Some experts believe that Russia’s entry to WTO will first of all negatively affect the agricultural sector. Vladimir Tkachenko, Deputy Head of the Department of ...

By , a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.

At a Moscow conference, a Russian official makes the case that the government will still be able to protect its farmers after the country's entry into the World Trade Organization:

At a Moscow conference, a Russian official makes the case that the government will still be able to protect its farmers after the country’s entry into the World Trade Organization:

Some experts believe that Russia’s entry to WTO will first of all negatively affect the agricultural sector. Vladimir Tkachenko, Deputy Head of the Department of Trade Negotiations at the  Ministry of Economic Development, does not agree:

"Our producers are saying “Let us develop the production”. And this is what we are doing by applying tariff quotas. WTO allows this instrument and our agriculture is not falling into decay."

"Other thing, we often hear, is that WTO does not allow the governments to provide the support to agriculture and industries. This is not exactly so. The only restriction applies to the amount of agriculture subsidies. The WTO commitments we are planning to observe (they have not been approved yet but we are quite close to it) won’t mean that the state support to the agriculture will be reduced. That is why I don’t agree with any catastrophic scenarios." [snip]

The participants of the Open Russia congress came to the conclusion that before Russia makes the last step to WTO the government should ensure the maximum protection of Russian producers.

There’s always a danger that Russia could still pull defeat from the jaws of victory on the WTO, and last-ditch measures to protect producers could be one way that happens.

David Bosco is a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of The Poseidon Project: The Struggle to Govern the World’s Oceans. Twitter: @multilateralist

Tag: Russia

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