MOSCOW, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) had not harmed the country's economy as many feared, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday.
"No doomsday has happened. Nothing has collapsed," Medvedev told the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily newspaper in an interview.
Even the most vulnerable sector of the Russian economy, agriculture, had survived, he said, adding weather conditions were more crucial than the WTO rules for farmers.
Meanwhile, Medvedev said Russia currently produced nearly all its demand for meat and did not need to import chicken and pork.
"Still, farmers should receive strong state support, in pork and poultry production first of all," Medvedev said.
He said the government allocated 42 billion rubles (1.35 billion U.S. dollars) to support farmers. "So no disaster has happened in general," he said.
The prime minister said the Russian economy had won from WTO accession because it had given the nation's industries a chance to become competitive "in one, three, five years" if producers learned to manage their expenses and cut production costs.
He pointed at China as an example for Russia to follow.
"Our Chinese friends have flooded the world with their products because their production costs are low. We too must make efforts to sell our production, because we'll hardly sell anything which is more expensive than Chinese and European goods," he said.
Russia acceded to the WTO in August 2012.