August 25, 2019, 22:53

WTO Establishes Arbitration Panel on Russia-EU Pork Dispute Despite Blocking

WTO Establishes Arbitration Panel on Russia-EU Pork Dispute Despite Blocking

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The World Trade Organization (WTO) has established a new arbitration panel on the dispute between Russia and the EU on the supply of pork to Russia, the Economic Development Ministry said Wednesday.

“As previously reported, at the first meeting of the dispute resolution body, Russia blocked the establishment of a panel within the framework of the dispute Russian Federation — Measures on the Importation of Live Pigs, Pork and Other Pig Products from the European Union,” the ministry said, adding, however, that according to the WTO rules, in case of a re-appeal, it is established automatically. “Thus, on November 21 the arbitration panel on the dispute was established at a meeting of the dispute resolution body,” the ministry confirmed.

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

The EU currently seeks WTO’s authorisation to suspend concessions with respect to the Russian Federation for about 1.39 billion euros (about $1.6 billion) annually which, according to Brussels, equals the cost of EU live pig and pork products imports to Russia in 2013. Moscow, in turn, considers the request to be baseless.

The standoff on the issue started after Russian state agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor banned pork imports from the bloc in January 2014, following an outbreak of African swine fever in Lithuania. The ban was lifted in December 2017.

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