The nerve: EU to sue Russia for embargo on European pork imports

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January 6, 2018 – FRN – 

RIA  – translated by Inessa Sinchougova 

The European Union intends to collect 1.39 billion euros a year from Russia due to the restriction on pork imports. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has already sent Brussels’s claim to the arbitration court. 

The EU leadership is increasing pressure on Russia “in the battle of mirrored sanctions,” the article says. As one representative of the European Union explained, the arbitration process will decide whether the claim is fair. After that, in case of a positive decision, the court will determine the possibility of applying this measure against Russia.

According to Politico, in 2016 the WTO decided that Russia had introduced an “illegal” ban on the import of pork from the EU. These measures have become a “heavy blow” for farmers from Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

“Sanctions have become for Russia the opportunity to increase production of meat, since the competition with foreign companies in the market has disappeared,” the article reads. Brussels by its actions “begins to actively challenge the legitimacy of politically motivated food sanctions against the EU.”

The compensation required by Brussels at 1.39 billion euros is equal to the total value of exports of pork from the EU to Russia in 2013. It is planned that the amount of penalties each year will increase by 15%. 

In early 2014, the Russian authorities imposed a ban on the importation of pork from the EU countries. The reason for this was the African swine fever (ASF) recorded in 2013 in Lithuania and Poland. In 2016, the WTO decided that the Russian embargo runs counter to the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the WTO. The appeal of Russia was rejected.

In the winter of 2017, the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia reported that the WTO requirements were met, and the ban on meat import was lifted. The department, however, noted that pork is on the list of products banned for import as part of the food embargo imposed in 2014 in response to the sectoral sanctions of the European Union.

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