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Europe threatens to take Russia to the WTO over restrictive practices

Saturday, September 8th 2012 - 06:26 UTC
Full article 5 comments
”Our intention is to continue discussions” said De Gucht, but… ”Our intention is to continue discussions” said De Gucht, but…

Europe's trade chief threatened to take Russia to the World Trade Organization over a string of restrictive practices, saying Moscow needed to play by the rules now it was a member of the global body.

In the same week that the European Commission opened an investigation into Russia's Gazprom and China's solar panel exports, De Gucht said Russia was sending “the wrong signal” instead of moving towards more liberalization.

“Be it live animals, or the recycling fee for imported cars, we will be very vigilant in making sure they live up to their engagements,” De Gucht said on the sidelines of a EU-Russia seminar in Helsinki.

“Our intention is to continue discussions. But if there is no change in their position, we have said that we will use whatever means necessary to come to a result we believe would be in line with the WTO. It is a serious thing”.

Russia joined the WTO last month after an 18-year wait. President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday the country would use its membership to try to develop freer trade across the world. He will also be hoping it will further boost Russia's energy-driven 1.9 trillion dollars economy.

De Gucht said Russia was violating WTO rules by keeping its markets closed to competitors.

Russia and the EU are deeply intertwined, with Europe relying heavily on Russian energy exports and Russians hungry for EU products and access to its 500 million consumers.

But the two sides argue over issues ranging from energy supplies, trade and market access to human rights. While relations are at times frosty, both refer to each other as “strategic partners” and meet for twice-yearly summits.

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • DanyBerger

    I guess WTO will be very busy in the next couple of years.

    Sep 08th, 2012 - 12:26 pm 0
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    Sep 09th, 2012 - 06:14 am 0
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