The European Commission wants Russia to drop restrictions onexports or face a legal dispute at the WTO ahead of a meeting inMoscow aimed at dealing with a number of troubling matters rangingfrom Syria to energy, Reuters reports. EU claims that despite having joined the WTO in August 2012,Russia has kept some protectionist measures, and is even creatingnew ones, “the majority of which are not in compliance withRussia’s WTO commitments.” These measures place extra barriersto European companies wanting to operate in the Russianmarket. “These measures, which are in breach of WTO commitments,should be terminated rapidly,” the Commission said in itslatest report on global trade protectionism. “If no results canbe achieved, the EU will consider launching a WTO disputesettlement proceeding.” The European Commission finds particularly discriminatingRussia’s fee on imported cars. In September Moscow imposed arecycling fee for foreign cars driven on Russian roads. This feeadds to the price of imported models and makes them less attractiveto customers.Apart from cars the European Commission reports also mentionsRussian regulations on alcoholic drinks, textiles, and otherproducts. Brussels says Russian terms will make it difficult forEuropean exporters to sell to Russia.On Friday the EU leaders will discuss relations with Russiaduring a meeting in Brussels. EU Trade Chief Karel De Gucht will goto Moscow for a meeting with Russian officials next weeks todiscuss conflicting matters ranging from trade, human rights andenergy to Syria. It is essential for both parties to reach aconsensus as the EU is dependent on the Russian energy resourcesand Russia is in need of products from the EU.In November 2012 the European Union accused Russia of increasingprotectionism and warned that it might submit a complaint to theWTO. The EU then slammed one of its biggest trading partners overunfair duties on imported vehicles, an unreasonable ban on liveanimal exports and hight duties on hundreds of products, includingwood.
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