EU May File WTO Complaint over Russia's Food Embargo

World | August 29, 2014, Friday // 12:39|  views

EU Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht, photo by EPA/BGNES

The EU may file legal action the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the Russian food embargo, according to EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht.

De Gucht said in an interview for German newspaper Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung that the complaint was being prepared and it could be filed in mid-September, adding that no final decision had been made on the step.

The polish government is said to be particularly insistent on the need for a WTO action against Russia, while other EU Member States and the European Commission are said to have reacted cautiously to the proposal, fearing further escalation of the tensions.

According to FAZ, Russia's ban on EU food imports, adopted in response to Western sanctions over the situation in Ukraine, pushed up prices of a number of Western agricultural products and food products.

According to unconfirmed reports of ITAR TASS, the EC initially intended to approach the WTO to seek consultations over Russia's embargo.

On August 7, Russia introduced a one-year ban on food imports from the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway.

A few days ago, the Russian government removed some agricultural products from the blacklist, including lactose-free milk and dairy products, young salmon and trout, as well as some vegetables and nutritional supplements.

Seed potatoes, onions, and hybrid sweet corn, were also excluded from the list, as well as dietary supplements that come from plants and vegetables like vitamins, protein powders, and others.

The decree amending the list of banned products was signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on August 20.

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Tags: EU Commissioner, Karel De Gucht, embargo, imports, Dmitry Medvedev, Russian Prime Minister, World Trade Organization, WTO, sanctions, ukraine crisis


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