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EU sectoral sanctions can lead to bad WTO precedent - Russian official

May 24, 2014, 15:35 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG
“This will do significant harm to German, French, Italian and Dutch companies - the companies operating in Russia,” Russian Presidential Aide Andrey Belousov said
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Andrey Belousov (right) and Aleksander Shokhin

Andrey Belousov (right) and Aleksander Shokhin

© ITAR-TASS / Mikhail Metzel

ST. PETERSBURG, May 24, 14:12 /ITAR-TASS/. In introducing sectoral sanctions against Russia, the European Union would primarily harm its own business and create an unfavourable precedent in the WTO, Russian Presidential Aide Andrey Belousov told journalists on Saturday.

“This will do significant harm to German, French, Italian and Dutch companies - the companies operating in Russia,” he said.

If the sanctions were introduced, Russia could turn to the WTO Appellate Body for settling of the disputes, Belousov said, as “the WTO mechanism does not stipulate sanctions of a WTO member against another one” on the basis of politics or for security reasons.

If the WTO decides in favour of Russia, “the U.S. and EU will find themselves in a very interesting position”. Otherwise, if sanctions are introduced in the WTO practice, several dozens of countries will eagerly make use of it, which can lead the WTO to collapse, the official believes.

Russia was considering options in response to possible sectoral sanctions, he added.

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