Russia has joined the World Trade Organization, a body which restricts import duties and subsidies to make international trade fair, after 18 years of negotiations. Consumers in Russia are expected to benefit from the lower cost of imported goods, while some industrial sectors, like agriculture, will lose state subsidies, exposing them to foreign competition. Last year, Russia imported a total of $2.1 billion from the world, making it a key destination for butter, cheese and other high-value dairy products.

Russia was formally admitted to the WTO on Wednesday.

The talks took so long because of Russia's reluctance to drop industry subsidies and because the U.S. has refused to scrap a law that denies Russia normal trading relations.

Because that law remains, Russia will keep higher trade tariffs with the U.S. than other countries. PD


—AP Newsfinder