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Food Embargo More Beneficial for Russian Agriculture Than WTO Membership

© Sputnik / Sergey Mamontov / Go to the photo bankRussian Ministry of Agriculture
Russian Ministry of Agriculture - Sputnik International
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Russian Agriculture Ministry negatively assess WTO membership, and the industry has restored only with the help of Russia's food embargo.

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ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — Russian Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev said Friday that nothing had come of the country's membership to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the industry has restored only with the help of Russia's food embargo.

"[WTO membership] during the last five years has not meant anything for us, for the agriculture industry. It has given just nothing, no advantages," Tkachev said at the 2016 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

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According to the minister, Russia succeeded in restoring agricultural production by imposing retaliatory measures in August 2014.

"We have learned to live without Europe with regard to food, we will learn to pay attention to our processing capacities and develop our own equipment. WTO will be useful for us when we will deal with exports. But this is not a crucial issue for us," the minister concluded.

The WTO is an international organization set up to liberalize international trade and regulate trade and political relations between member countries. Russia joined the organization in August 2012.

A one-year ban on US, EU and other food imports was imposed after these countries introduced economic sanctions on Russia over a crisis in Ukraine. The food embargo has since been extended.

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