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EU ready to appeal to WTO over Russian import bans

August 07, 2014, 8:45 UTC+3 7 7/8

EU Council may call urgent meeting over Russian response

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© AP Photo/Yves Logghe

BRUSSELS, August 7. /ITAR-TASS/. The EU is ready to appeal to the World Trade Organization to have the Russian agriculture import bans lifted, a European diplomatic source told ITAR-TASS.

“Politically motivated large-scale trade restrictions are a direct violation of WTO rules, which Russia pledged to comply with,” the diplomat said. “These measures will be thoroughly analyzed, and then relevant claims will be submitted with the WTO.”

The source added that the European Commission would start analyzing Russia’s ban on imports from EU states as soon as the official list of banned goods would be published.

The EU Council may convene an urgent meeting in connection with Russia's response to European sanctions.

It is early to say whether the EU will take measures in response to the Russian ban on imports of food products from Europe, source told.

“First, it is necessary to see and analyze the official list of product that Moscow intends to ban. After that, decisions will be made both at the European and the national level,” the source stressed.


Billion euro losses

The Russian ban on agricultural imports from the European Union is an “irresponsible measure” that can lead to losses of billions of euro for European as well as Russian consumers, the source told ITAR-TASS.

The measure may be considered as aimed at further heightening tension in relations between Russia and Western countries. According to approximate estimates, damage may reach billions of euros, he said.

In his view, food prices will rise for Russian consumers as they will have to pay for transport expenses when cheap and high-quality European products are replaced with supplies from other regions.

The diplomat also said the Russian decision would deepen Russia's international isolation.


List of products to be published August 7

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ordered August 6 to ban or restrict for one year imports of agricultural produce, raw materials and nutrition products from countries that joined the economic sanctions against Russia. The list of banned products is expected to be published August 7.

According to reports that haven’t been officially confirmed, US-made poultry is among the banned products. Assistant to Russia’s veterinary and phytosanitary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor Alexei Alexeyenko said this late on Wednesday in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV channel. However, the watchdog later noted that Alexeyenko’s comments “should be considered as a personal point of view of this expert and scientist, but not the official stance of the supervisory agency”.

The watchdog also recalled that even before the sanctions, Rosselkhoznadzor had multiple claims regarding the quality and safety of European botanical produce.

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