Constitutional Court: Russia's joining WTO doesn't contradict constitution

The Protocol on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization was signed without violations of the constitution, the Constitutional Court has said.

"The Protocol was signed and approved in a procedure that does not contradict the state's constitutional foundations," the Court said in a resolution read out on Monday.

Russia's membership of the WTO would mean its entry of the international legal field and "access to instruments of international legal defense," the Constitutional Court said.

The court scrutinized the protocol's compliance with the constitution after it received an inquiry from Russian lawmakers.

The Protocol was signed on December 16 2011. In accordance with the Federal Law on International Agreements, it must be ratified. The ratification procedure must be finished by July 23 2012 in line with the terms of Russia's accession to the WTO, after which Russia will become the WTO's fully-fledged member.

The initiators of the inquiry argued that the Protocol is at variance with articles 48, 62,68, 72, 101 and 118 of the constitution, that the constitutional procedure of submitting the protocol to the lower house for ratification was violated, and that the constituent territories were not consulted with.

They also claimed that individual provisions of the supplements to the protocol did not comply with the constitution, either, and violate the constitutional right to get skilled legal assistance, as well as the principle of administering justice only by the state courts.

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