Russia has been in the process of seeking membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) since June 1993. Currently, the United States is the only major economic power that has yet to finalize a bilateral market access agreement with the Russian Federation. Most observers of the situation concur that the enforcement of intellectual property rights laws remains, along with agriculture, one of the two major hurdles to Russian accession to the World Trade Organization.

This paper seeks to elucidate the challenges and policy options that Russia faces on enforcing intellectual property rights, highlighting lessons learned from the experiences of China and Ukraine. Its goal is to advance the United States–Russia dialogue on accession and to help achieve the kind of progress desired by all parties.

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Sherman E. Katz is a senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His research focuses on WTO global trade negotiations in the Doha Round, implications of Chinese accession to the WTO, and the distribution of benefits from U.S. Free Trade Agreements.
Matthew Ocheltree has been a research assistant with the Trade, Equity and Development Project since February 2006.