July 2, 2020, 23:56

Russia Blocks EU’s Request to Establish WTO Arbitration Panel on Pork Dispute

Russia Blocks EU’s Request to Establish WTO Arbitration Panel on Pork Dispute

An attempt by Brussels to establish a new WTO arbitration panel on the ongoing pork dispute with Russia got blocked by Moscow, Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development said in a statement.

“At the regular meeting of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), the Russian Federation blocked the establishment of an arbitration panel for the DS475 dispute: ‘Russian Federation — Measures on the Importation of Live Pigs, Pork and Other Pig Products from the European Union’,” Russian Ministry of Economic Development said. “The relevant request had been submitted by the EU to the WTO in connection with the ruling allegedly not fulfilled by Russia, which was earlier made by the arbitration panel and the WTO Appellate Body in this dispute.”

The European Union currently seeks WTO’s authorization to suspend concessions or other obligations with respect to the Russian Federation for about 1.39 billion euros annually which, according to Brussels, equals the cost of EU live pig and pork products imports to Russia in 2013.

Russian authorities, however, described this request as “unfounder.”

“Russia regards this move as unfounded. Back in December 2017, Russia brought all of its measures in full accordance with WTO regulations, as per the conclusions made by the Dispute Resolution Body. All information related to the specific measured undertaken by Russia was also forwarded to the Dispute Resolution Body and the EU in December 2017,” the ministry officials remarked.

Russia’s state agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor banned pork imports from EU member states in January, 2014, after an outbreak of African swine fever was detected in Lithuania.

In August 2016, a WTO panel scrutinized the ban and on December 6, 2017 the ban was lifted.

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