ST.-PETERSBURG, July 9 - RAPSI. The protocol on Russia's accession to the WTO was signed without violating constitutional procedure, the Constitutional Court has found.

On Monday the court announced its ruling on the request made by some State Duma deputies, who questioned the constitutional compliance of the protocol, which is yet to come into force.

The accession protocol was signed on December 16 and is awaiting ratification pursuant to the federal law on international treaties. Under WTO standards this procedure should be completed by July 23, after which point Russia will become a full-fledged WTO member.

The applicants claimed that the submission of the protocol to the lower house for ratification was in breach of regulations: the order in which the documents were presented was incorrect and regional authorities have not given their consent to the protocol.

In addition, the applicants questioned some of the provisions in the protocol. They believe the provisions infringe on the right to qualified legal assistance and the administration of justice by government courts alone.