Russia has endured a long courtship period with the World Trade Organization - 16 years of talks and counting - yet official membership has always remained just out of reach. There are currently 153 members in the WTO, ranging from Albania to Zimbabwe. Russia is now the only BRIC country not to join, and is by far the largest economy of all the world’s non-members.
It appears that the winds may be shifting for Russia however, as recent reports suggest that the country could gain membership as early as the end of this year. If the predictions come true, this would mark a turning point in the battle to liberalize global trade laws. Russia’s economy manages over $600 billion in trade annually. In my eyes, the ascension of this titan of trade into the WTO could not come quickly enough.