Russia could leave WTO over EU pork dispute

EPA/VINCENT JANNINK

Russia could leave WTO over EU pork dispute


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The deputy president of Russia’s Economic Council, Sergei Kalashnikov, said Moscow could leave the World Trade Organization (WTO) amid a dispute on limiting pork imports from the European Union.

Russia said on Monday it would contest efforts by the European Union to impose 1.39 billion euros in trade sanctions over the dispute.

The EU said in December it was seeking authorization to impose the annual trade sanctions, alleging Russia had failed to comply with a WTO ruling on pigs and pork.

The Russian Economy Ministry said on Monday those accusations were unfounded.

The ministry said in an emailed statement that “representatives of the Russian Federation voiced their categorical disagreement with the EU position” at a meeting of the WTO’s dispute settlement body on Jan. 3.

Russia lost its appeal against the WTO ruling on its ban on imports of EU pigs and pork products in February. It had agreed to comply by Dec. 6.

Moscow imposed a ban on most Western food imports in August 2014 in retaliation against Western sanctions over its actions in Ukraine. It imposed the pig and pork ban after a few cases of African swine fever in some parts of the EU that year.

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