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Issue #592

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2014 Media Kit

Russia may take EU to WTO over cheap energy rules

By: | at 02:29 PM | International Trade  

Moscow may take the European Union to the World Trade Organization over rules which strip away an advantage Russian firms have in accessing cheap energy, Russia’s Economy Ministry said, heating up a wider trade dispute between the partners.

Russia and Europe have clashed over issues such as car trade and Russian gas deliveries. Earlier this year, the EU asked the WTO to rule on the legality of a recycling fee Russia imposes on imported cars.

“Russia sent a query to the EU’s representative office in the WTO today over the EU’s breach of some agreements in the WTO regarding anti-dumping policies,” a spokeswoman for the economy ministry said by email.

She said if the issue was not resolved within 60 days, Russia may ask for a hearing from the WTO’s arbitration panel.

The ministry said that the EU deemed some Russian companies to be in breach of EU anti-dumping policies as they have had access to cheap energy in Russia’s domestic market. The dispute has highlighted Russia’s bumpy start as a member of the WTO, which it joined barely a year ago, 19 years after it first applied.

Russian producers of fertilisers, ferro-alloys, pipelines, other products of steel and aluminum foil lost hundreds of millions of dollars a year due to these policies, the ministry said.

The EU and the WTO were not immediately available for comment.

The United States has said it is watching Moscow for any violations that thwart U.S. exports, although it has yet to announce any plans for litigation.

Japan also filed a trade complaint against Russia over the recycling fee in July. (Reuters)