Russia Files First WTO Complaint Against EU

Russia Files First WTO Complaint Against EU

The procedure has to do with "a violation by the EU of anti-dumping provisions of the WTO agreement," said spokeswoman Yulia Chkanikova.

MOSCOW -- Russia has accused the European Union of violating global free trade measures in its first complaint before the World Trade Organization, the economy ministry said today.

The procedure has to do with "a violation by the EU of anti-dumping provisions of the WTO agreement," said spokeswoman Yulia Chkanikova.

The complaint is the first Russia has filed since it joined the global trade body in August 2012, the economy ministry said.

It also follows complaints by the EU over a Russian car recycling tax imposed on imported vehicles as well as ongoing tension between Moscow and Brussels over several issues like the pro-European protests sweeping Ukraine and the arrest of EU citizens on the crew of Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise protest ship.

The Russian complaint claims that Russian steel manufacturers and fertilizer makers are disadvantaged in the European Union due to existing "energy adjustment" tariffs imposed on Russian products since 2002.

Russia argues that the anti-dumping tariffs have been applied unfairly, making it impossible for Russian companies to export to EU markets that has resulted in losses of "hundreds of millions of dollars every year."

The complaint was sent Monday to the EU representative at the WTO, the ministry said, and triggers consultations on the matter.

In Brussels, spokesman for trade matters John Clancy said the European Commission is "confident that the measures indicated by Russia in its request for consultations are consistent with WTO rules."

A first round of consultations could by held as early as next month.

Clancy said the EU would "enter into such consultations in good faith" and that they would provide an opportunity "to better understand Russia's concerns and to respond to those concerns."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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