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MINSK, February 25. /TASS/. Russia will file a suit to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Ukraine over blocked transit shipments if the sides do not settle the dispute and resume heavy trucks transit, First Deputy Economic Development Minister Alexey Likhachev said Thursday.
"Yesterday we made all necessary announcements. We hope very much that our Ukrainian partners will deduce from them. So far it is possible to settle the dispute without legal action. Transport authorities are in talks, with positive signals coming. But in any case we’ll use the WTO mechanism if the dispute is not settled," Likhachev said.
As was reported earlier on February 12, radical Ukrainian activists operating in Mokrany-Domanovo blocked entry to Ukraine to trucks with Russian license plates and plates of other states shipping Russian goods. A day earlier, radicals including former participants in the Ukrainian military crackdown on the eastern Donbass region launched a similar protest action to disrupt the transit of Russian heavy trucks.
Russia responded with February 14 suspension of Ukrainian truck transits through Russia. On February 15, Ukraine’s government officially suspended transit shipments for heavy trucks registered in Russia. The countries agreed to introduce "back home" regime in the period between February 16 and February 25, which enabled truck drivers to finish hauls.