The document that opens for the country a door into the world trade club was supported by all members of the majority United Russia (238 deputies). Members of opposition factions – 201 deputies from the Communist party, LDPR and Fair Russia – voted against.
Earlier on Tuesday, a group of protesters representing the Communist Party (KPRF) gathered in central Moscow, waving banners reading “WTO accession – road to the abyss!” and “WTO will strangle Russia!”
Opinion polls show that the Russian people are also split down the middle on whether the country should join the WTO. Thus, the authorities are working overtime to assure the public that Russia will only benefit from entering the organization, vowing “there will be no negative consequences.”
“We believe that the increase in prices of many goods will at least considerably slow down,” said Economic Development Minister Andrey Belousov.
The minister also stated there is no danger of a rise in unemployment following Russia’s accession to the WTO.
At the same time, Belousov admitted that the country’s budget may lose up to 188 billion rubles (US $ 5.6 billion) next year and 257 billion rubles (about US $ 7.7 billion) in 2014 as a result of Russia’s entry in the organization. However, he said, real losses are expected to be smaller because of overall trade growth.