WTO to Form Arbitration Panel for Considering Russia-Ukraine Transit Dispute

© AFP 2023 / FRED DUFOUR / A person gets out of the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarter in Geneva (File)
A person gets out of the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarter in Geneva (File) - Sputnik International
The World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body resolved to create a panel of arbiters for considering the dispute between Ukraine and Russia on the transit of Ukrainian goods via Russia’s territory, a source familiar with the matter told Sputnik Tuesday.

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — The panel is to be created "for considering Ukraine’s complaint concerning restrictions of goods transit via Russia’s territory," the source said.

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The Ministry of Economic Development of Russia said earlier in the day, that Ukraine had requested for the second time the establishment of an arbitration panel in the WTO in relation to the dispute. According to the WTO rules, the second request cannot be dismissed by Russia. The ministry referred to the move as the standard step as part of WTO’s disputes consideration procedure.

In September 2016, Kiev began dispute proceedings against Moscow over rail and road transit restrictions imposed on Kazakhstan-bound goods coming from Ukraine at the start of the year. The restrictions, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on January 1, 2016, and renewed in July 2016, were imposed after the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement came into force and opened a free trade zone between Europe and Ukraine. The restrictions cover goods subject to tariffs or those included in Russia's trade embargo on EU products.

Ukraine claimed the restrictions violated the WTO rules and caused the country economic damage amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.

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