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Russian Upper House Ratifies WTO Membership

A total of 144 out of 166 Federation Council deputies voted to ratify Russia's WTO membership.
The Russian upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, has approved a bill ratifying Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The passage of the legislation on July 18 -- with a vote of 144 members in favor, out of a total of 166 -- was the final legislative step before President Vladimir Putin can sign the bill it into law, as is expected.

The State Duma lower house approved Russia’s WTO membership last week.

Russia conducted negotiations with global trade partners for nearly 20 years to clear the way for the country's entry to the WTO, the body that sets trade rules and enforces trade agreements between the organization's members.

Russia was finally accepted for WTO membership in December, 2011.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax