Russians aware of entry into WTO, know little about WTO goals - poll

Most Russians are aware of the country's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), but less than a half know what the WTO is, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center said.

Twenty-four percent know that the WTO stands for the World Trade Organization, while 1% say the WTO means the All-Russia Trade Organization. Ten percent believe it organizes interstate trade and 9% say the WTO regulates interstate trade.

Thirty-nine percent of the respondents said they had heard about the WTO, but have no idea what it does, and 21% could not answer the question, sociologists told Interfax on Monday.

Nevertheless, 70% of Russians know about the country's admission to the WTO, including 19% who know details and 51% who have a general idea, the sociologists.

The WTO is best known to people aged 35 to 44 (77%), Muscovites and residents of the St. Petersburg (78%), and well-to-do Russians (76%).

Twenty-six percent learned about the Russian entry into the WTO during the poll. Most of them are young people (40%), people in small towns (33%) and people with low incomes (34%).

The poll was conducted in 138 towns and cities in 46 regions on August 18-19.

The Russian government informed the WTO Secretariat on July 23 that interstate procedures had been completed, including ratification of the protocol signed in Geneva on December 16, 2011, to complete Russia's joining in the WTO Marrakesh Agreement of April 15, 1994. Under the WTO rules, the Russian accession process ended on August 22, on the 30th day following submission of the notification. Russia became the 156th member of the WTO.

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