Russia and Vanuatu join World Trade OrganizationListen /
The Russian Federation and the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu have become the latest countries to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Russia's membership became effective on Wednesday while Vanuatu will become the global trade body's 157th member on Friday.
WTO press officer Anoush der Boghossian says their accession takes place after nearly 20 years of negotiations.
"This is quite important for both the new members as well as the WTO as a whole because this will create new market opportunities for all these countries, not just for the new members but also the current members of the WTO. And also, it will create a very stable and predictable environment to do business with these two countries. So it's quite important."
The World Trade Organization is a forum where governments can negotiate trade agreements and settle trade disputes.
It was established in 1995 and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.