MOSCOW, August 22. /TASS/. Protectionism in the global trade, which has taken shape of political sanctions and trade wars, can be stopped only by those players who initiated such policies, Maxim Medvedkov, head of department of trade negotiations at the Economic Development Ministry, said in an interview with TASS.
He expressed hope that sooner or later trade war mongers will change their policy.
"Unpredictable behavior of one of the key players in the world trading system, the growth of protectionism, in particular in forms that never occurred before, for example in the form of political sanctions, the inability of international institutions, including the WTO, to control these processes are directly and very negatively affecting the economic development in the world. Only the initiators of these policies can stop these processes - and perhaps this will happen sooner or later. The only question is when and how much the world economy will lose by that time," he said.
Speaking a ministerial conference of the WTO in December, Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin urged release of world trade from sanctions, calling them one of the most aggressive forms of protectionism.
In an interview with TASS Maxim Medvedkov also said that trade wars and political sanctions created a kind of stress test period the global trade system is now going through.
"We can only hope that the stress test that the multilateral trading system is now going through will ultimately push all its participants to real steps to find mutually acceptable multilateral solutions, including for such an issue as abuse of sanctions," he said.
He noted that the WTO previously passed through trade wars and sanctions, but their scale was more modest.
"Nevertheless, trade will continue, although we may witness serious changes in its geography and volumes," he said.
Medvedkov stressed that the WTO has been in crisis for several years. The round of multilateral trade negotiations that started way back in 2001 has not been completed yet.
"Instead of comprehensive decisions on all issues on the agenda, we get important but still quite point solutions in certain areas of regulation," he said adding that the stagnation of the WTO is largely caused by the unwillingness of some key players to compromise and transform the system.