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Moscow urges WTO to investigate Ukraine's sanctions against Russia

May 20, 19:20 updated at: May 20, 20:28 UTC+3

In the preparation of measures Ukraine also violated its numerous obligations in regard to the transparency of the procedures for development and introduction of bans and other restrictions in trade

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©  Kirill Kukhmar / TASS

HANOI, May 20. /TASS/. Russia sent a request to the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to hold consultations in connection with Ukraine's constantly imposed sanctions against Russia, Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin told reporters.

"The Russian delegation in the WTO in Geneva sent a request to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body and the Government of Ukraine to hold consultations in regard to Ukraine's constantly imposed sanctions, prohibitions, special requirements and procedures against Russian goods, services and people starting from 2014, as well as transit through Ukraine," Oreshkin said at a meeting of trade ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Oreshkin noted that some of these measures do not protect the Ukrainian economy, but on the contrary, create additional problems for it.

According to the Minister, there are serious grounds for assuming that Ukraine is taking restrictive measures against Russia in violation of its obligations to the WTO, including additional commitments made during the accession process.

"The number of anti-Russian measures, their nature, those falling under the restrictions show that Ukraine systematically and consciously violates its international obligations, ignoring the rules of international trade, other norms of international law," the Minister said.

The comprehensive lawsuit that Russia has filed to the WTO regarding the sanctions imposed by Ukraine against Russia concerns not only restrictions on supplies of food and non-food products, but also the ban on accreditation of Russian media, Oreshkin said.

"We are talking about bans on importing meat and dairy products, fish, wine and vodka products, equipment for railways, fertilizers, and many other goods from Russia ... But also restrictions on operations with the Ukrainian currency, prohibition for accreditation of journalists from Russian news agencies and other media," Oreshkin said in a meeting of trade ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

According to the Minister, in the preparation of measures Ukraine also violated its numerous obligations in regard to the transparency of the procedures for development and introduction of bans and other restrictions in trade. Despite the requirements of the WTO agreements, the organization was not consistently notified of these measures.

"Thus, the Russian request covers a total of hundreds of elements of Ukrainian regulations and concerns violations of a number of WTO basic agreements, including the Agreement Establishing the WTO, the General Agreement on Trade in Services, the General Agreement on Trade in Services, the Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures, the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures," Oreshkin said.

The request for consultations in the WTO is the first procedure in the filing of a claim to the organization. In accordance with the WTO procedures, consultations with the Government of Ukraine should be held within two months to find a mutually acceptable solution to the current situation. "If the consultations do not bring the expected result, we have the right to begin the second stage of the dispute - to refer the case to the arbitration panel," the Minister said.

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