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Intellectual Property Rights as a Key Obstacle to Russia's WTO Accession

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Russia has been in the process of seeking membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) since June 1993. Currently, the United States is the only major economic power that has yet to finalize a bilateral market access agreement with the Russian Federation. Most observers of the situation concur that the enforcement of intellectual property rights laws remains, along with agriculture, one of the two major hurdles to Russian accession to the World Trade Organization.

This paper seeks to elucidate the challenges and policy options that Russia faces on enforcing intellectual property rights, highlighting lessons learned from the experiences of China and Ukraine. Its goal is to advance the United States -- Russia dialogue on accession and to help achieve the kind of progress desired by all parties.