Dienstag, 16. Dezember 2014

Russia's disputes at the WTO

Russia has been a WTO member for now more than two years, the date of accession being 22 August 2012. Russia has become an active user of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism first as a third party. Less than a year after Russia’s accession, unlike in many other cases of newly acceded WTO members, Russian measures got challenged at the WTO by some other WTO members.

As of now, Russia is a respondent in 6 disputes, two of which were brought by different WTO members regarding the same matter – Japan and the EU – in respect of Russia’s vehicle recycling fees, but since the Russian legislation in question has in the meantime been amended, the complainants seem no longer to pursue this claim. Other disputes concern Russia’s SPS measures imposed on live pigs and pork, antidumping measures imposed on light commercial vehicles and bound tariffs (in all these cases the complaining party is the EU).

Russia has also initiated two disputes, both against the EU, challenging its energy cost adjustment methodologies used in antidumping investigations and the EU’s Third Energy Package.

Statistics show that Russia participates in WTO disputes by far more frequently than other WTO member countries of the Region of Caucasus/Central Asia (Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan).

Mittwoch, 5. März 2014

Russian Parliament considering expropriation of foreigners in Russia

The Federation Council of the Russian Federation (upper house of the Russian Parliament) considers the possibility to expropriate foreign companies and private persons in the Russian Federation as reaction to the possible sanctions from western states. RIA Novosti informs, that at the moment the experts are checking the confirmity of such expropriation with the Constitution of the RF.

Freitag, 10. Januar 2014

Russia v. the EU: Russia files its first WTO dispute

On 6 January 2014, Russia filed its first WTO dispute, the respondent being the European Union. The dispute concerns antidumping measures imposed by the EU on ammonium nitrate and certain steel products, more precisely – the methods of calculation of the dumping margin. Russia claims that the EU uses cost adjustments ignoring the fact that energy prices in Russia are lower than in the EU, which is Russia’s natural advantage.  The parties to the dispute have now 60 days for consultations.
Russia is already the respondent in another WTO dispute, which has been initiated by the EU and which concerns the Russian recycling fee for vehicles. In this dispute, the WTO panel has been established, but not yet composed.  As on 1 January 2014  amendments to the relevant Russian legislation have entered into force, which seems to make the law non-discriminative,  one wonders whether the EU will pursue the proceeding.

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