Russia files suit with WTO against EU import tariffs
Russia has filed a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization accusing the European Union of charging excessively high import taxes to Russian metallurgical and chemical enterprises.
The tariffs range from 22 to 28 percent and are determined using the so-called "energy adjustments." The E.U. calculates the value of goods on the basis of European rather than Russian energy prices: the price of Russian gas in Europe is considered to be too low. Consequently, the lawsuit claims that a series of protective measures are being used against Russian goods, primarily metallurgical and chemical.
"We believe the mechanism according to which these duties are imposed, is inconsistent with the W.T.O. regulations," said Maxim Medvedkov, the director of the Department of the Ministry of Economy and Trade Negotiations.
The E.U. applies "energy updating" methods in relation to products from other W.T.O. member countries as well, but they still have not challenged these measures, so the decision regarding the Russian complaint may become a precedent.
Now, under the W.T.O. rules, the participants of the dispute have 60 days to get advice. If during this time, the parties do not find a solution to the problem, Russia will have the right to initiate the creation of a group of independent arbitrators who will decide on the anti-dumping measures in relation to the W.T.O. requirements.
Representatives from metallurgists and chemists said they were pleased that Russia had initiated a trade dispute with the E.U. But at the same time, market participants interviewed by Kommersant newspaper, said Russia's actions could be considered “as a reprisal for the dispute, which the E.U. began because of the Russian utilization fee for cars."
"For us, it was fundamentally important in this context to show that we will also actively use the available W.T.O. protective measures," one source was quoted in Kommersant as saying.
"Disputes inside the W.T.O. is a normal process, and the sooner Russia begins to deal with them, the more quickly it will learn to defend its interests. At the moment it does not have the relevant experience and one cannot get by without conflicts here" – said Sergei Sutyrin, the SPSU Head of the department of world economy.