GENEVA, June 20. /TASS/. Russia has issued a request to join the consultations between the United States and the European Union in the World Trade Organization (WTO) in an official letter released on Tuesday.
The request, dated June 15, says that Russia is willing to join the consultations as a third party, because "the measures at issue are applied to the imports of steel and aluminium products from the Russian Federation."
"The application by the United States of the challenged measures has significant detrimental effect on Russia's trade interests," the statement reads.
WTO Member governments have direct access to the dispute settlement system either as parties or as third parties. The third party status confers a right to a delegation to attend talks, listen and present its point of view but it is not the party to the dispute as such. If a third party is willing to join the dispute settlement case as a full-fledged member, it should approach the WTO Dispute Settlement Body.
The United States introduced new duties for steel and aluminum products amounting to 25% for steel and 10% for aluminum.
Russia earlier said it can dispute the US decision in the WTO, notified the Organization about possible retaliation measures in connection with duties and made an offer to the EU to jointly undertake measures for protection of Russian and European business in connection with new tariffs.
On April 19, Russia sent a request to the WTO for consultations with the US on steel and aluminum duties set by Washington. In accordance with the procedure in effect in the WTO, if no compensation for Russia by the US is agreed during consultations, Russia can approve responding trade measures. China, the European Union and India also requested consultations in the WTO earlier in view of new US duties on steel and aluminum products.