Russia in the WTO? Just say NO!
Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) was another of Yeltsin’s ideas – and with much the same purpose. If implemented, that idea would make Russia dependent on imports of foodstuffs and just about everything else the exporting countries would like to sell against their Russian rivals, after the latter were to give up their competitive price advantages, such as cheap energy, cheap land, cheap transportation, cheap fertilizer, etc. So, if Russia were a democracy, the WTO terms of accession for Russia – now 18 years in the negotiation – wouldn’t have a chance of acceptance.
We are not shy about saying that we want to see Vladimir Putin’s police state in Russia utterly destroyed. Nor do we disagree with the brilliant John Helmer’s analysis, quoted above, which concludes that admission to the WTO would be extremely harmful, if not a fatal toxin, to the Putin regime. But we still vehemently oppose Russian admission.
lan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, writing in the Moscow Times:
What’s next for the U.S.-Russian reset? Having already succeeded in ramming the ambitious New START arms control treaty through a reluctant Senate late last year, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is now eyeing the next step in its reboot of relations with Moscow: integrating Russia into the world economy.
“Our trade and investment relationship is nowhere near where it could or should be,” U.S. Vice President Joe Biden wrote recently in the International Herald Tribune. “Russia was America’s 37th largest export market in 2010, and the value of goods that cross our borders with Canada and Mexico every few days exceeds the annual value of our trade with Russia.”
Further improvements to U.S.-Russian ties, Biden believes, require the United States to support Russia’s ongoing efforts to join the World Trade Organization.
Russia Crashes another Party
In another editorial in today’s issue, we highlight the fact that Russia has just been revealed by Transparency International to be the very most corrupt nation in the G-20 organization.
Now it turns out that both Brazil and India, fellow members of the so-called “BRIC” group that includes Russia as well as the G-20, are already disgusted with the organization and are spurning it. This was, of course, supposed to be Russia’s great coming-out party, a new group of independent countries looking to Russia for leadership and acting as a bulwark against a unipolar world dominated by the United States. It is turning out to be another classic Russian boondoggle, an illusion rather than a reality.
Once again, in other words, we see Russia being revealed as a totally isolated country, unsuitable and unqualified for membership in any civilized group of countries and unable to establish a leadership role in any organization. Russia imagines itself a leader, but in fact it is not even a follower.