MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has not yet given up its plans to file a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization (WTO) to challenge Western sanctions, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Wednesday.
"No, we have not abandoned [the idea of filing a lawsuit with the WTO], but we have not filed any just yet. This is a complex procedure that requires thorough preparation, and work is now underway," Ulyukayev said on the sidelines of the Export Support conference in Moscow.
In July, Russia said that the sanctions imposed by the Western countries violated the WTO rules, but the United States claimed the restrictions were consistent with the obligations within the organization. In September, presidential aide Andrei Belousov said lawsuits were prepared in order to challenge the restrictive measures.
The United States, the European Union and some other western countries have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis, although Moscow has repeatedly denied the claim.
The western sanctions target certain individuals, freezing their assets and suspending their visas, as well as Russia's largest banks, defense and energy companies, restricting cooperation with them.
On October 20, Russian Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said that Russia was not at the moment in talks with the EU member states concerning the sanctions, as it was up to those who imposed the restrictions to resolve the issue.