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Moscow Says US Allegations Russia Violates WTO Rules Baseless

© 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, 24.12.2021
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Moscow considers Washington's allegations that Russia violates rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) groundless, Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, said on Friday.
In a report on the implementation and enforcement of Russia's WTO commitments released on Tuesday, the office of the US Trade Representative said that the US authorities see import substitution and preferences for goods and services of domestic production as Russia's departure from the WTO norms and intend to work on countermeasures through the WTO.
"We are used to unfounded accusations from the US against us, but it exceeded all our expectations," Zakharova told a briefing, adding that it’s strange to hear that import substitution violates rules while the US imposes unilateral sanctions.
Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Pankin said on Friday that the US countermeasures through the WTO are unlikely, given that Russia does not violate the WTO norms.
"There will be no US reciprocal measures against Russian through the WTO. The trade policy of our country is implemented in full compliance with the WTO rules, we do not violate anything. Just recently, in October, we have discussed the US claims within the trade policy review in the WTO. Partners have addressed us with over 200 questions and received comprehensive replies," Pankin said.
Furthermore, the diplomat, responsible for Eurasian integration and economic cooperation, underlined that the WTO dispute settlement system operates in a limited capacity, since the Appellate Body is not functioning.
"[The WTO Appellate Body] does not deal with disputes for two years, and not because of the pandemic. The cases are being dispatched there, but there is no one to review them… The judge is sick, and it is unknown when he will resume work if he returns to work at all. This situation is solely the fault of the US, which refuses to unblock the operation of the appellate structure," Pankin said.
The WTO core principles, which the US appeals to, include transparency and predictability of the national trading system, which enables fair competition and excludes discriminatory practices. The second WTO Russian Trade Policy Review held in October acknowledged the positive dynamics in Russian trade management, including step in trade facilitation, competition policy and tariffs reduction. Back then, the WTO hailed Russia's support for the multilateral trading system and endorsed its continuing leadership role at the WTO.
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