GENEVA — Russia has successfully completed its 18-year bid to join the World Trade Organization after a deal was reached with its southern adversary, Georgia, senior diplomats familiar with the issue said.
“It’s a done deal,” said one top trade envoy close to both Russia and Georgia, who requested anonymity.
Meanwhile, an Obama administration official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, told WWD: “We are pleased with the progress made to date on Russia’s WTO accession bid and continue to consult closely with Congress and stakeholders.
“We remain confident that Russia will be formally invited to join the WTO at the Ministerial Conference in December,” the official said.
Russia is expected to join the organization during the biannual WTO meeting of trade ministers to be held in Geneva on Dec. 15 to 17.
A senior WTO trade diplomat said the Russian entry terms will be “better and more liberal” than those of China, which joined the WTO in 2001, and will include average tariffs in single digits.
Russia was the world’s 12th-largest exporter in 2010 with shipments of goods worth $400 billion and 18th-largest importer with inward-bound goods valued at $248 billion, which includes $7 billion in apparel goods.
The breakthrough came after the Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey held talks with her Russian and Georgia counterparts in Moscow and Tbilisi on Oct. 30 and Oct. 31, which resulted in a scheme to govern the transfer of goods between the neighboring nations and the two breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Top western officials said the deal also had the blessing of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia