19 Mar 2024 10:48

Russia officially accepts WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies

MOSCOW. March 19 (Interfax) - Russia has officially accepted the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies.

Russia's representative to the WTO, Nikolai Platonov formally presented the country's instrument of acceptance of the agreement to WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on March 18, the trade body said in a press release.

"I am pleased to receive Russia's instrument of acceptance of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. Russia's formal acceptance demonstrates leadership and commitment to ocean sustainability. It brings this landmark agreement closer to entry into force, and underscores the importance of global cooperation for the benefit of people and planet. I urge the remaining WTO members to also deposit their instruments of acceptance," Okonjo-Iweala said in the press release.

Platonov said the "agreement is essential in terms of preventing and combating unsustainable patterns of marine capture production such as illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, activities in unregulated high seas, as well as in overfished stocks."

"Given that Russia is one of the major sea fishing nations, we hope that our acceptance will also contribute to completion by other members of their domestic procedures so that the treaty can enter into force sooner rather than later. Such a scenario would definitely bring all of us closer to achieving the UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals," Platonov said.

Russia's ratification brings the total number of WTO members that have formally accepted the agreement to 72, so 38 more formal acceptances are needed for the agreement to come into effect. The agreement will enter into force upon acceptance of its legal instrument by two-thirds of WTO members.

Adopted by consensus at the WTO's 12th Ministerial Conference, held in Geneva in June 2022, the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies sets new binding multilateral rules to curb harmful subsidies, which are a key factor in the widespread depletion of the world's fish stocks. The agreement prohibits support for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.