Russia considering exit from WTO, WHO – Tuoi Tre Online – Tuoi Tre

Russia is considering exiting the WTO, WHO - Photo 1.

Russia joined the WTO in 2012 after almost 18 years of negotiations – Photo: REUTERS

On May 17, the RT and Interfax news agencies quoted Deputy Speaker of the Russian Parliament Pyotr Tolstoy as saying that the Russian Foreign Ministry had submitted a proposal to the Duma (lower house). “Together with the Federal Council (Senate), we will evaluate and propose a proposal to withdraw from the WHO and the WTO,” Mr Tolstoy said.

“Russia has withdrawn from the Council of Europe, now the next step is to withdraw from the WTO and WHO, which have ignored all obligations towards our country,” Tolstoy added, referring to Russia’s announcement, the European Council in March to leave 2022.

Tolstoy also said that the Russian government intends to adjust international obligations and treaties that are currently harming the country instead of benefiting it.

In April 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized Western “illegal” restrictive measures imposed on Russian companies as violating WTO rules and called on the government to update Russia’s strategy towards that organization before June 1st.

With the exit from the WTO, however, Russia loses its tax protection. WTO member states can levy higher tax rates on Russian imports, reducing exports and reducing VAT, excise duties and tariffs.

A week earlier, Russia had also voiced criticism when the WHO passed a resolution that could lead to the closure of the Moscow office. According to Reuters news agency, the resolution passed on May 10 could pave the way for the WHO to close its office in Russia and stop holding meetings in the country.

Most recently, on May 17, Russia announced its withdrawal from the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) amid rising tensions with the West over a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said CBSS will become “an instrument of anti-Russian politics.” “We believe our presence with CBSS is ineffective and counterproductive,” the agency said in a statement.