By DAVID JOLLY
Published: December 16, 2011
GENEVA — Global trade ministers on Friday approved Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organization, giving Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin a victory on the international stage at a time of rising domestic opposition to his hold on power.
The Nigerian trade minister, Olusegun Olutoyin Aganga, struck a gavel to announce that the W.T.O. trade ministers’ meeting here had accepted the bid. Because the organization operates by consensus, Russia had to first reach bilateral agreements with 57 of its current 153 members to secure their support.
“This result of long and complex negotiation is favorable both for Russia and for all our future partners,” President Dmitri A. Medvedev said in a statement read to the conference by the first deputy prime minister, Igor I. Shuvalov. He called on world leaders to continue working for freer and fairer trade, adding: “Russia is ready to contribute as much as possible into this work.
W.T.O. Grants Russia Membership - NYTimes.com