The news had been anticipated since the State Duma's formal ratification 30 days earlier, but its importance to Russia's future cannot be overstated. In simple monetary terms, studies by the World Bank show that Russia's economy will become wealthier by about $162 billion per year, which is about 11 percent of gross domestic product. At the same time, the structural changes that are necessary to deliver this injection of growth and wealth are equally, if not more, significant.WTO accession was not achieved easily. Negotiations began in 1993, and right down to the last moment there was opposition within Russia. The Communist Party attempted to block the Duma's ratification on the spurious grounds that the agreement would not be constitutionally binding, as the text of the agreement was in English, not Russian.A second argument, equally spurious, claimed that the agreement was unconstitutional since Russia's economy would suffer if it had to accept the strict WTO conditions. Thankfully, the Russian courts took little time to throw out both arguments, and the WTO accession process continued. But while these objections were desperate and far-fetched, they highlight the antipathy and ill-feeling toward WTO membership in some political camps.