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Russia files first WTO complaint against EU

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Russia has filed its first complaint before the World Trade Organization (WTO), accusing the European Union of violating global free trade measures, an official statement reads.

The procedure has been sent to the EU representative at the WTO on Monday, the economy ministry said on Tuesday, marking its first complaint since Russia joined the global trade body in August 2012.

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

Moscow claims it is losing “hundreds of millions of dollars every year” over what it calls “energy adjustment” tariffs unfairly imposed on Russian products – particularly steel manufacturers and fertilizer makers – heading into the EU since 2002.

The ministry stated it expects further consultations with EU officials over the matter.

This is while the EU has filed a complaint against Russia with the WTO over numerous incidents including a Russian car recycling tax imposed on imported vehicles, Moscow’s position on the pro-European protests in Ukraine, and the arrest of EU members onboard the Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise protest ship in Russia.

The European Commission spokesperson for trade matters John Clancy replied that Russia’s petition is consistent with WTO rules, and the first round of consultations could start next month.

Relations between Russia and the EU have worsened since last year, when the bloc’s executive Commission declared it was examining Russian energy giant Gazprom on suspicion that the company has hampered the free flow of gas across Europe and imposed unfair prices in some cases.


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