Russian Economy Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin said after the meeting with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom on the sidelines of the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial conference in Argentina that Russia and the European Union have agreed to discuss the mutual lifting of trade restrictions.
“We had a short meeting with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom. We have discussed the fact that we need to gradually move forward to the reduction of trade barriers,” Oreshkin told reporters on Tuesday on the sidelines of the WTO conference.
The minister noted that this issue has already been raised at the meeting with EU Ambassador to Russia Markus Ederer, which took place last month.
“With the EU ambassador we have discussed that now we will prepare the lists of trade restrictions, which exist on the both sides and we will see how to move forward in order to improve the situation,” Oreshkin said.
Brussels will likely include the restrictive measures, which Moscow imposed on the EU products in response to the bloc’s sanctions, in its list of the trade barriers, the official noted.
“The European Union will definitely include [the Russian sanctions]. But the position of the Russian authorities, I think, is clear, there is nothing new,” Oreshkin underlined.
The Eleventh Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization opened in Buenos Aires on Sunday and will last through Wednesday. The officials discuss the future of the global economy and pay attention to the issues of protectionism.
The relationship between Russia and the European Union deteriorated amid the internal conflict in Ukraine and Crimea's reunification with Russia. A number of Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia, with Moscow then introducing response measures and launching the policy to replace foreign imports with domestic products.