EU Eyes Opening Case in WTO in Relation to Lithuania-China Trade Row, Trade Spokesperson Says

© AP Photo / Fabrice CoffriniThe shadow of a sculpture is reflected on the World Trade Organisation, WTO sign near the entrance of the headquarters, in Geneva (File)
The shadow of a sculpture is reflected on the World Trade Organisation, WTO sign near the entrance of the headquarters, in Geneva (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.12.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The EU is gathering evidence and considering the possibility of opening a case in the World Trade Organization (WTO) in relation to the trade dispute between Lithuania and China, Miriam Garcia Ferrer, the trade and agriculture spokesperson, said on Friday.
"One of the avenues we need to consider is the compatibility of Chinese actions in relation to WTO and in order to build a case in WTO, we need to have enough evidence so that is what we are doing now, we are in contact with the Lithuanian authorities and other member states that could have facing problem with the supply chains and then when we have all this information, we will be able to go through the different steps to assess the compatibility and to eventually open a case in WTO," the official told a briefing.
Earlier, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and European Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis said that the European Union is aware of issues with the clearance of Lithuanian goods by Chinese customs and is working on clarifying them. The two also expressed the bloc's solidarity with Lithuania and affirmed Brussels' commitment to opposing political pressure and coercive measures applied to EU members. The statement came shortly after an announcement of a new legal tool to respond to deliberate economic pressure put on the bloc and its member states by third countries.
On 2 December, Vidmantas Janulevicius, the president of the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists, said that Lithuanian companies have recently faced issues with customs clearance in Chinese ports after China allegedly deleted Lithuania from its customs systems following a diplomatic fall-out.

China-Lithuania relations soured earlier this year after the Lithuanian government allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in Vilnius. The Chinese government criticized the move and downgraded diplomatic relations with Lithuania to the level of charges d'affaires.
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