Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has submitted a list of international agreements to the Russian State Duma for potential denouncement. They include the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), Duma’s vice-speaker Petr Tolstoy said Tuesday.

He said that all suggestions will be analyzed together with the Federation Council. According to Tolstoy, Russian officials must go through agreements that “are detrimental, not beneficial to the country.”

“Russia has already left the Council of Europe. Now it is time to leave the WTO and the WHS, which have disregarded all the responsibilities toward us,” he said.

Russian authorities are convinced that the sanctions introduced by the West are destroying the WTO’s trade rules, with 14 members of the organization depriving Russia of the preferential trade arrangements.


The Duma registered a bill for Russia’s withdrawal from the WTO on March 21.

On May 10, the WHO’s European Committee adopted a resolution fostered by 35 member states, which seeks to examine the re-location of the WHO office for non-infectious diseases. Russia’s Ministry of Health reacted to the proposal originally floated by Ukraine by saying that it would undermine the health of Europeans.

Contrary to Tolstoy’s statement, however, Russia did not leave the Council of Europe of its own accord. After the pan-European human rights body suspended Moscow’s rights of representation following its incursion into Ukraine in March, Russia said it would no longer participate in it, even as the Council was preparing to vote on its exclusion from the organization.

Similarly, in April, the United Nations suspended Russia’s membership in the UN Human Rights Council, with the Czech Republic officially replacing it after receiving 157 in favor of its membership. Russia had been quick to leave the body before the official vote took place on April 7.

Russia has also shut down the local offices of 15 foreign non-profit organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. They were accused of violating Russian laws, with Moscow denying allegations of war crimes committed by the Russian army in Ukraine.

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