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EU calls on Russia to lift ban on pork imports over WTO ruling

Staff Writer |
The EU has called on Russia to lift its ban on pork imports its member states after the World Trade Organization (WTO) rejected Moscow’s appeal, the European Commission said.

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On January 30, 2014, the Russian veterinary authority prohibited imports of European pork products until receipt of safety warrants from the European Commission after an outbreak of African swine fever in Lithuania.

The EU called the prohibition a disproportional measure and asked the WTO to convoke an expert group over the disagreement.

In August, the WTO said it supports the EU case against Russia as several measures introduced by Russia contradict the country’s WTO obligations. Russia filed the appeal against the decision on September 23, but on February 23, the WTO rejected it.

The EU called on Russia to lift the ungrounded measures and allow EU companies to restore normal business with Russian partners.

The WTO decision sent a signal to Russia that it should comply with international standards, including regionalization, which allows for trading with separate regions of a country where the African swine fever or any other diseases were not found regardless of diseases found in other regions.

Russia’s Economic Development Ministry said in a statement that implementation of the WTO decision will not weaken the country’s protection from the African swine fever as pork imports from the EU are still banned as part of retaliation measures for anti-Russian sanctions introduced in 2014.

The WTO Dispute Settlement Body’s decision also upheld a conclusion of an arbiter panel that the ban of pig product imports from the EU is of a restrictive character, which does not correspond to the position Russia stated before and brings up questions which will be later discussed with the EU, the statement read.

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